CLINTON — After 29 years of service on the Village of Clinton Board, Mayor John L. Crossley is retiring.
Crossley made the announcement on Monday, March 4 at the the end of the regulary scheduled board meeting, and did so with high-praise for all the people he’s worked with over the course of his tenure.
Sadly, his retirement from public service is due to illness. Something he discussed with his colleagues before his announcement and decided he wanted to explain to his constituents at this time.
“I don’t want there to be any misconception by the public, Crossley said. “I’m not leaving because I want to, I’m leaving because I’m not sure what the future holds for me.”
Crossley said he’s having a procedure in Syracuse this week, and then he and his family will know more.
He thanked the trustees for their “invaluable individual expertise” the clerk’s office and Rosanne D’Acunto and Mark Goldberg for all the hard work they put in for the Village of Clinton.
He also said the same for Police Chief Dan English and Fire Chief Jim Scoones for making the residents and property of the village safe. Others he thanked were Jim and Dan Cunningham for all their hard work to operate the sewer plant. He thanked the codes people, the historic commission, and Tim O’Hara saying “it’s been a real pleasure working with him” while O’Hara’s been serving as Clinton’s engineer, working on the restructuring of the village’s 85-year-old water system.
Village Trustee Carrie Evans spoke to Crossley directly before he could adjourn the meeting, telling him how much the village appreciated him.
“We just want to say that this community would not be what it is without you,” she said. “Particularly taking over as mayor during difficult circumstances, and you took this job on like it was your baby from day one, and I think I’m speaking for everyone when we say we appreciate everything you’ve done over the last 29 years.”
Crossley was elected to a trustee’s post in 1988 and served that post until the unexpected death of former U.S. Marine Corps. Vietnam Veteran, Shoe Cobbler and Village of Clinton Mayor John A. “Jack” Lane on June 4, 2017 at the age of 66.
Crossley said he never had any plans to be mayor. But honestly, he said he enjoyed it and had a good time. He also said he thought they did a lot of good for the village and got a lot things started he knew the board would finish because he feels ‘they are a terrific board.”
Crossley referred to updating the codes book for the village, which hasn’t been updated since 1965...54 years ago.
He’s also proud of the work on the infrustructure of the village water system.
“The project is going to cost 3.3 million dollars,” Crossley said. “We are updating the pumps and wells with electronics and in the generator well houses. Also, we are redesigning the connection of the water lines re-routing them in a circle, opposed to a dead-end L-joint, assuring a more positive flow of water. We’re taking bids on upgrading tank No. 2, and tank No. 1 needs more work.
Also, Crossley said the village adopted two new resolutions on March 11, First, to install LED (light emitting diodes) street lights throughout the village, saving it money as well as making the village more environmentally friendly. As of 2016, LED lamps use only about 10 percent of the energy of an incandescent lamp, hence LED’s use less electricity to operate, decreasing the amount of fossil fuel required to operate the generator plant. Establishing an ERP (Energy Reduction Plan) is just one of the requirements needed to achieve a “Green Community” designation, a goal the Board is committed to in adopting this second, separate resolution. Crossley said Clinton resident Mona Perotti has spearheaded the initiative from the beginning.
Crossley said he’s enjoyed all the ribbon cuttings and just being around the people for nearly 30 years as a public official. However, if he had to pick something unique he remembers fondly it would have to be an invitation he received in October of 2018 from the President of Hamilton College, David Wippman, to have dinner in the president’s home along with Wippman’s guest, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron.
With Crossley’s departure becoming official in April a new mayor will face the responsibilities and tasks that were once his. Trustee Steven J. Ballona is running in the spring election unopposed at the time of this writing. Crossley said if Ballona is elected mayor, barring a write in vote, he knows Steve will do a great job for the village.
“I have all my confidence in Steve,” Crossley said.
He also said as he leaves his post his message to the people of Clinton is simple.
“The village treated me very well,” Crossley said. “I’m going to miss it.”