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January 24, 2020 Issue  
Lansing, New York  
Volume 16, Issue 4

posticon Town Planning Board Appointments on Hold

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Town of Lansing Planning Board

The Lansing Town Board deferred a vote to reappoint planning board members for the second time at its December meeting.  Town Supervisor Ed LaVigne explained that mandatory sensitivity training for 2019 had not been completed by planning board member Dean Shea, Zoning Board of Appeals chair Hurf Sheldon due to a storm that cancelled a session.  But LaVigne said the Town is tightening its policy on the training for all board members.  LaVigne said the boards will continue with their current configuration until the makeup session on February 5th.  He said the three will have to attend two training sessions, the February one for 2019, and another for 2020.

"They'll have to do an additional training for this year as we all are doing," he said.

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posticon The Lansings Consider Short Term Rental Rules

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Airbnb

As short term rentals have quickly become more popular, the Lansings are scrambling to define rules that will best protect residents while still attracting tourism and trade to the municipalities.  The Village of Lansing has discussed the issue at length, prompted by complaints about an Airbnb home.  The Town is also talking about adding short term rental regulations to its laws.

"It's something that we need to consider," said Lansing Town Supervisor Ed LaVigne at the January Town Board meeting. "The city of Ithaca has theirs, the Village of Cayuga Heights has theirs. We also need to be thorough and say, how do you enforce it? Those are things that that are on our plate for this year."

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posticon Congressman Reed Visits Ithaca-Tompkins International Airport

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Reed Visits Ithaca AirportCongressman Tom Reed (center) with Tompkins County Acting Legislature Chairman Mike Sigler (left) and airport manager Mike Hall

Congressman Tom Reed was in the Village of Lansing Thursday to tour the Ithaca-Tompkins International Airport.  Yesterday was the 'after' tour following Reed's 'before' tour last August, when he viewed the airport expansion while it was under construction and highlighted a $10 million federal investment in the project.

"Obviously it was a great partnership between us at the federal level and our state partners and local investors," Reed said. "When you see public money being deployed, like General Hall has done, here is exactly what it's all about. This is improving the community, providing access to our great area and exposing it to the world in a first-class way."

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posticon Legislators Remain Deadlocked On Chair Vote

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sigler chair
At Tuesday night's meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature, legislators remained split between two Democrats seeking to lead the body in 2020. As was the case at the Legislature's organizational meeting two weeks ago, Mike Lane of Dryden and Anna Kelles of Ithaca were both nominated to be Chairperson, and each received seven votes.

Voting in favor of Legislator Lane were Legislators Shawna Black, Amanda Champion, Deborah Dawson, Henry Granison, Dan Klein, Anne Koreman and Mike Lane. Legislator Kelles received votes from Legislators Rich John, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Dave McKenna, Glenn Morey, Martha Robertson, Mike Sigler and Anna Kelles.

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posticon Public Outcry Raises Hornets Nest of Town Issues

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Public Outcry

Public outcry against an events venue in northern Lansing last year has raised a hornet's nest of issues for town officials.  A series of contentious meetings spanning a good part of last year, including opposition to the reappointment of a planning board member resulted in new procedures and sensitivity training for public board members.  Planning Board member Lin Davidson took the Town Board to task for what he charged are inadequate tools in the form of noise and related ordinances that do not allow the Planning Board to impose limits on activities that may impact neighbors.

"This is beyond the planning board issue," Davidson said. "Where is the Town? They look at us to be a planning board that does a better job.  Law is purview of this town.  Your law, with due respect, allows us to happen. The site plan tool that the Planning Board has to reduce impact just doesn't work here. We had to beg the applicant to set voluntary hours of operation.  We have begged to get two weeks notice for a fireworks display.  We have no way, according to counsel, to touch that. The public's upset. I don't care how you communicate, it's incendiary."

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posticon Reed's Take on Impeachment

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US Capital

Lansing is more than 300 miles from Washington, DC, and everyone has an opinion about President Donald Trump's impeachment in the House of Representatives, and the Senate trial that is currently under way.  Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY), who represents the 23rd district, which includes Tompkins County, unsurprisingly voted against impeachment with his party December 18th, when the vote was 230 to 197 for two articles of impeachment: 'abuse of power', and 229 to 198 to impeach on 'obstruction of congress'.  Reed took a moment to discuss the impeachment and trial yesterday while visiting the newly expanded Ithaca-Tompkins International Airport.

"When they started down this path in the House, I was greatly concerned that this would turn into what it has become," Reed said. "And that's a political exercise. And when you deal with such an important tool as impeachment, which is that last resort nuclear option, going down partisan politics it can do long term damage to the country. I just hope we get through this chapter. And if you have a problem with the president of United States, the best way to answer this question is not what a hundred sitting members of the U S Senate. It's with the 300 plus million people in America and let the American voters make this determination."

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