Updated 03/13/2012 10:59 PM
Brockport Mayor Cancels Meeting
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"Is anyone willing to step outside so we can conduct the meeting?” asked Brockport village mayor Connie Castaneda.
Because more than 49 people packed the board room Tuesday the crowd exceeded Brockport village code.
"We will have to postpone this meeting,” said Castaneda.
Ironically, the same fire code that shut this meeting down would have been the main topic of discussion.
"I think there were a lot people who wanted to speak up about this situation,” said Pam Ketchum, village resident.
Castaneda is accused of violating village code when, according to police, she rented the second floor of a home she owns on Main Street to several college students. Investigators say the rooms were not equipped with smoke detectors or proper fire escapes.
"If this is true, that's unacceptable and she needs to step down,” Ketchum said.
Unacceptable, some say, because the mayor oversees the same code she's accused of violating. There is a proposal to take those duties out of the mayor’s hands and appoint a code enforcement officer. Voters will make that decision in June.
"At this point, now it's up to the community to do their homework as we did and make a decision,” said Scott Hunsinger, village trustee.
In the meantime, some board members say they have work to do and this whole situation has become a major distraction.
"If I was the mayor, I would have already stepped aside,” said Carol Hannan, village trustee.
Castaneda did not address the charges against her, but did offer a prepared statement.
"I have consulted with my legal counsel and at this time, I have been told to make no comment. I have also consulted with the village attorney and have been assured the dependency of the charges has no effect on my position as mayor. I am not planning on resigning," said Castaneda.
While 49 seems like a reasonable capacity for an average meeting, some say a large crowd should have been expected.
"Seems like there should have been other recourses cause this is an immediate issue,” said John Cohen, resident.
That issue, some say, will only get worse.
"Regardless of her guilt or innocence, she can't effectively manage right now,” Cohen said.
There was also a group of village residents who showed up to speak in support of the mayor. They didn't want to be identified on camera, because they say they're afraid of retaliation from the police department.
Castaneda and her live-in boyfriend will be back in court to answer to the charges at the end of the month.