Town files lawsuit against SRCT in state supreme court

Action comes after weeks of negotiations reach impasse

— The town of Skaneateles on Oct. 5 filed a lawsuit against the Skaneateles Recreation Charitable Trust declaring that the issue of ownership of an estimated $155,000 in YMCA assets had come to an impasse, and requesting a court decision that the SRCT either pay for the taxpayer-funded assets in its possession or hand them over to the town for public auction.

The litigation comes after two months of last-ditch negotiations between the town board and members of the SRCT during which no agreement could be reached.

“We have had meetings, we have had written communications and proposals back and forth, we have had telephone conferences, but I have not heard anything from then in over a week now … and I’m moving ahead with what I need to do to protect town residents and taxpayers,” said Skaneateles Town Attorney Patrick Sardino on Oct. 5. “The town board has gone out of its way to avert any legal action, and it’s just been met with delay.”

Sardino filed the lawsuit in state supreme court late in the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 5.

The lawsuit includes an "order to show cause" that the SRCT must appear in state supreme court at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Onondaga County Courthouse.

As the Skaneateles Press originally reported on Aug. 1, 2012, the entire issue stretches back more than two years to when the town board transferred management of the Skaneateles Community Center to the SRCT — which subsequently hired the YMCA — on Aug. 1, 2010. All the assets inside the facility remained within the facility with no written agreement as to who owned the items or how and when any of the assets would be either returned to the town or purchased from the town. There was a verbal agreement at that time, however, that all assets would be returned to the town once the YMCA got on its feet.

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if 3 years, 4 months ago

Keep it legal! If stuff was paid for with a check from SRCT or the Y then it belongs to the SRCT or Y. If paid for with a check from Town then it belongs to taxpayers. If taxpayers own it the stuff should be auctioned off and Y can buy it on the cheap. It is that simple. I donate to the my church. I don't expect to have the right to tell my church to give the medical equipment they bought with my donations to an organization of my preference one, two or 15 years after I gave them the money. Come on get with it.


PJB 3 years, 3 months ago

Here is how I see it. If the items or money were donated to the town to purchase equipment for use in the "Community Center", then why can't they be donated back to the SRCT or the YMCA. If these items were't taxpayer-funded, then how can the town board be made liable for gifting these items? A good example is Olympia ice resurfacer. It is my understanding that all the funds required to purchase this machine were donated by W.G. Allyn. A generous gift indeed. Now how is the town board "protecting" the tax payers of Skaneateles by taking the SRCT to court over funds that the tax payers never came up with? I'm a tax payer in Skaneateles and feel the board and Mr. Sardino are wasting my money on foolishness. This serves no one in the greater community. If I gave my neighbor a needed gift and he turned around and sold it for his own profit I would be very upset. I wouldn't take him to court but I sure as hell wouldn't gift him again. Maybe the town has its nose bent because the operation of the facility was handed over to the YMCA. Just don't expect the same generosity from the same individuals that made this wonderful facility happen,Strong if this is the way we treat their intended donations.


if 3 years, 3 months ago

So newspaper people what was baught with donated money and what was baught with taxpayer money? What law prevents the Town from giving the items baught with donated money to whomever the Town wants to? Was the Town Board against turning the Community Center over to the Y?


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