When Mike Ferrara takes over as Town Supervisor in Seneca Falls this week – he hopes to be a catalyst for change.
Ferrara, who defeated Doug Avery by 82 votes, plans to change the tone of meetings. He hopes that carries over into interactions between the Town and its residents.
“As far as board meetings go, I plan to follow the same protocol in use the past four years. People can sign up to be placed on the agenda to speak by Thursday before our first Tuesday meeting, and I encourage them to speak for three to five minutes,” Ferrara told the Finger Lakes Times. “But I will not have a stopwatch. I will treat people with respect and kindness. I will listen and get back to people if we don’t have an answer at the moment.”
“I want people to feel welcome and comfortable coming to a board meetings. I don’t want to get into heated debates,” Ferrara added during his conversation with the Times.
An open door policy will be followed for Ferrara as he enters 2020. Residents can also schedule appointments by phone. Even for those who don’t sign up to speak ahead of time, the Supervisor expects there to be a transition to a more open flow at meetings.
“I’m pretty flexible at work and I envision an open privilege of the floor at meetings for people who don’t sign up in advance,” he added.
While he expects disagreements from time-to-time, his non-political nature will be something he falls back on as the process of conducting meetings, and government unfold.