By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Two more members of the five-person Town of Oneonta Board of Fire Commissioners have resigned, leaving it without a quorum as it enters a critical stage in negotiations to have professional firefighters continue to serve the town.
Gino Molinari and Don Lamanna tendered their resignations in recent days, according to an Oneonta Town Board member. Lamanna’s resignation is expected to be read at Wednesday’s town board meeting.
Mike Butler, former chairman of the commissioners, resigned over the summer to run against Town Supervisor Bob Wood in the Nov. 7 local elections.
This leaves only Fred Volpe, the current chair, and Johna Peachin. Without a quorum, the remaining commissioners may be unable to appoint members to fill the vacancies.
That means the remain board members will continue until the December elections unable to make any decisions, and the board’s makeup — and the outcome of stymied negotiations with City Hall — may depend on the slate in that election.
For two years, the town district and City Hall have been deadlocked in negotiations on a contract that would allow the city’s Oneonta Fire Department to continue responding to fires outside the city, including in Southside Oneonta.
The service continues under a three-year order issued by state Supreme Court Judge Michael V. Coccoma in December 2015.