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October 26, 2015
Supervisor’s column: Week of 10/26

Looking for something different to do this Sunday? Would you like to support a fabulous charity event that benefits Camp Haccamo, a place for children and adults with a wide range of disabilities and other Penfield Rotary programs? It is not too late to sign up for the Penfield Rotary Fall 2015 Euchre Tournament this Sunday, November 1 at The Legacy, 40 Willow Pond Way. Check-in is at 1:30 p.m. with a 2:00 p.m. start time. Admission includes water, coffee, and snacks. Tickets are $20 per person if purchased by October 30, or $25 the day of the event. There are more than $1,000 in prizes including $400 in cash. For tickets or more information please contact Charlie between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at 381-8889 or Todd between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. at 766-0781. A special thank you to all the Penfield Rotarians for their commitment and support of our community!

I would like to recognize the Town’s Employee Wellness Team for hosting the fifth annual “Wellness Fair” this past week. Twenty-nine local vendors representing health care, fitness, nutrition, insurance, service organizations, and more provided information and materials to help our employees and spouses create healthy environments that support positive lifestyle practices. I would especially like to recognize Michele Scarlata who coordinated all of the vendors for this very successful event!

Last week I had the honor to once again participate in the 2015 Penfield Art Association Show and Sale at Legacy at Willow Pond. This year marked the eleventh annual fall show to be held at the Legacy Independent Senior Living facility. Executive Director Fran McMullen and all of members of her team are very gracious and supportive of this annual show and sale. I was asked to select the “Best Penfield Scene” from twelve entries. I must say, having done this now for six years, the task becomes more difficult each year. Before I share with you the title and artist of this year’s winner, I want to recognize all of the artists who participated in this exhibit. I congratulate Jack Heister, Art Show Chair and Doug Bloom, Art Show Co-chair, for a wonderful event. And now, the 2015 Penfield Scene Award goes to Kathy Lindsley for “Gentles on My Mind”! Congratulations Kathy on capturing one of our many jewels in Penfield, the Gentles Farm Market on Penfield Road.

The next RPO Pops Series will be “Swing Is the King” on Saturday, November 14. Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to tap your toes to this exhilarating evening of music and dance. Jump-n-jive with the fancy footwork of swing dance and “rock around the clock” with jukebox hits of the 1950s as world-class dancers strut their stuff onstage with the RPO. Transportation departs the Community Center at 7:00 p.m. The fee for this event is $39.00. For more information please contact the Penfield Recreation Department at 340-8655 or

Breaking news…”Olivia” the pig is coming to the Penfield Library on Friday, November 20 from 4:00 to 5:15 p.m. Children of all ages are welcome, and no registration is required. Olivia will also be at the Penfield Library on Saturday, November 21 from 11:00 a.m. to Noon and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Ages 3 to 8 accompanied by an adult are welcome. Registration for November 21 events begins November 6. For more information please contact the library at 320-8720 or go to for more information on this program and many more!

Until next week, enjoy the unusually nice stretch of fall weather we are having and think about stopping at one of our many farm markets to enjoy an apple or cider and a delightful baked good. Supporting local businesses does make a difference!




October 22, 2015
2016 Town Budget Adopted

Penfield Town Supervisor Tony LaFountain and the Penfield Town Board adopted the town’s 2016 Final Budget at the October 21 legislative meeting. 

The 2016 Final Budget, including special districts, is $18.9 M, an increase of just under $100,000 from the adopted 2015 Town Budget. The proposed Town Operating Budget (without special districts) is $15.8 M, down $78 K from 2015. The town board and staff reduced expenditures to achieve this operational decrease.

As in previous years, expenditures not under the Town’s control continue to see double-digit increases. In 2016, this includes a 12 percent increase in health insurance premiums, continued contributions to the NYS retirement system of approximately 20 percent of payroll, and an estimated 16 percent increase in workers compensation cost.

Revenues, also not under the control of the Town, are down $442,000, or 5.6 percent, mostly due to a reduction of projects from New York State and Monroe County.

The 2016 town tax rate is $2.695 per $1,000 of assessed property value, up $.05 (five cents) from the previous six years’ flat rate of $2.645. At the 2016 rate, a property in Penfield with a valuation of $180,000 would see an increase of $9.00 on its 2016 town tax bill ($180,000 property at $2.645 rate is $476.10 town tax; at $2.695 rate is $485.10 town tax). This meets the tax cap requirements of New York State.

“Rising costs and lower revenues continue to be a major challenge for all local governments as we prepare the annual budgets,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “Until there is a serious discussion around unfunded mandates and a need to reduce bloated government at the state and federal levels these costs will continue to increase. Towns will be faced with year-on-year increases or they will have to look at reducing services—neither of these options is in the best interest of our residents.”

Penfield’s property tax rate remains one of the lowest of the 19 towns in in Monroe County. The town tax continues to account for approximately eight percent of each tax dollar. County taxes account for 24 percent, and school taxes account for the remaining 68 percent.

With this Final Budget, there will be no cuts to services or programs.

Penfield has the highest property growth among 19 towns in Monroe County. For 2016, the positive impact of actual new “bricks and mortar” properties has resulted in an allowable levy growth factor increase of 2.6 percent and therefore more contributors to the tax levy.

Unfunded mandates continue to be the source of most local government budget challenges along with an increase in the costs of goods. The Town has achieved ongoing cost-reductions that include selective replacement of retiring employees; use of seasonal contract labor; forming more and broader partnerships with other communities to leverage cost reductions; further technology upgrades and process improvements; and exploration of more outsourcing of tasks and duties where there is a good business case of reducing cost and providing the same, or better, services. Additionally, for the seventh year, all elected and appointed officials will receive no pay increases in 2016.

With its history of fiscal discipline, the financial world consistently recognizes Penfield as one of the most financially responsible towns in New York State. Moody’s Investors Service graded Penfield’s credit rating an excellent Aa2, one of the highest in the county and state. This rating allows Penfield to secure low-interest financing for capital projects (sewers, roadways, bridges), and assists with cash flow throughout the year. The Moody’s rating also reflects Penfield’s history of stable financial operations and strong management practices.

As of October 22, print copies of the 2016 Adopted Budget are available at the Town Clerk’s Office, the Penfield Public Library, or by contacting the Office of the Comptroller in the Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue, in Penfield. The 2016 Adopted Budget is also available online at (‘Departments’/‘Finance’).


April to September 2015 - Town Supervisor, Town Comptroller, and staff conduct budget work sessions; prepare 2016 Tentative Budget

September 2, 2015 - Town Supervisor, Town Comptroller present a summary of the 2016 Tentative Budget to Town Board and community; document made public for review (during this period, Tentative Budget becomes the Preliminary Budget)

September 3-October 15, 2015 - Public comment period

October 7, 2015 - Public Hearing on 2016 Preliminary Budget; public comments received

October 8-15, 2015 - Town Board reviews comments, develops a Final Budget

October 21, 2015 - Town Board Legislative meeting, adoption of a Final 2016 Budget; Adopted Budget made public

October 23, 2015 - Town submits the Penfield Adopted 2016 Budget to County of Monroe


October 19, 2015
Supervisor’s column: Week of 10/19

The town board votes to adopt the 2016 Final Budget at the October 21 legislative meeting. The 2016 budget has a tax increase of $0.05 per thousand of assessed valuation, or $9.00 per year on an $180,000 household. This is the first time we have had to raise the rate since 2010. Every town, as well as our individual households, are battling double-digit increases on medical premiums and insurances. Additionally, we have seen revenues drop as other governmental agencies look to reduce their own costs. I believe the 2016 budget is fiscally responsible and provides the same level of services as we have provided in the past. Penfield’s property tax rate remains one of the lowest in Monroe County. The Town of Penfield receives approximately $0.08 of each tax dollar (8 cents). I would like to thank all of the department heads, the comptroller, and the town board for their efforts in preparing a fiscally responsible budget that reduces spending and maintains services for Penfield residents.

Last week I had the honor of attending the annual “Lakeshore-Rochester Kiwanis Clubs Law and Order/Firefighters Day Luncheon” to recognize members of law enforcement and the fire service who respond above and beyond the call of duty. The reputations of Rochester and Monroe County public safety providers are held in high esteem across the country. It is extremely moving to hear individual accounts of those who risked their lives to save others. On behalf of the Penfield Town Board I want to recognize and thank everyone involved in public safety—not only in Penfield but across the entire county—for their dedicated service in protecting us all. You are our heroes!

Your community theatre presents “Private Lives” by Noel Coward and directed by Diane Schaumberg. This comedy will run October 30 through November 14. The Penfield Players are celebrating their 51st year of providing outstanding entertainment to the Penfield Community. “Private Lives” follows the adventures of a rich and reckless pair of exes. Elyot and Amanda have been divorced from each other for five years and are now both honeymooning with their new spouses on the French Riviera. Is it fate or just a chance encounter when they meet again across adjoining balconies? With champagne in hand and caution to the sea-salted wind, passion is immediately ignited in this dazzling whirlwind of love, lust, and conflict. Show dates and times are as follows: October 30, November 6, 7, 13, and 14 at 8:00 pm; November 1 at 2:00 pm. All performances will be held at Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. For tickets, please call the box office at 340-8655 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to charge by phone, or visit to purchase online. Please note: advance tickets ($12) must be purchased online or called in by 4:00 p.m. on the Thursday prior to each show date. There is no guarantee of availability after 4:00 p.m. Tickets at the door are $15.

As the leaves continue to fall over the next several weeks, please keep an eye on yard inlets and roadside catch basins to make sure they are not blocked with leaves and debris. Keeping them clear will help to minimize any flooding with the fall rains…thank you!

Important dates and events in history: October 19, 1845 – U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis is founded; October 22, 1861 – the transcontinental telegraph is completed; and October 22, 1962 – The Soviet Union pulls it missiles out of Cuba.

Until next week, be well and be safe!



October 13, 2015
Supervisor’s column: Week of 10/12

The Penfield Library annual used book sale was held about a month ago, and as always, I am impressed with the success of this event. The “Friends of the Penfield Library” report that the sale raised $28,152.37. Wow, that is fantastic! The funds help to support special programs and equipment that are not covered in the library budget. The “Friends” also report they had wonderful volunteer help from several of the teams from Penfield High School.

The boys’ baseball team brought the enormous number of boxes of books from the storage trailer into the sale rooms on the first day of set-up. Then, many volunteers worked Saturday through Tuesday morning getting the books out of the boxes and onto the tables for shoppers who visited Tuesday afternoon through Saturday. On the final day of the sale, the girls’ lacrosse team and the robotics team came in and helped to pack up and load the remaining books. Everyone at the library has commented on the wonderful young people willing to help in this community effort, and they enjoy working with them each year. Congratulations to everyone involved in this sale, it makes a significant difference to our Penfield Library and patrons!

The Town of Penfield’s Director of Public Works, Ronnie Williams, is one of fifty Public Works Directors and leaders selected across the nation selected to participate in a public works summit to be held in Austin, Texas in November. A grant was awarded that covers all travel, hotel, meal, and conference costs with no cost to Penfield taxpayers. The goal of this program is for peers to share their best ideas and newest solutions to maximize operations in and around public works organizations including transportation, technology, equipment, processes, and educational programs. Congratulations to Ronnie and Penfield on being chosen for this innovative program.

Mark your calendar for the next Penfield Trails Committee hike to be held on Saturday, November 14 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Join the Penfield Trails Committee along with the Friends of Webster Trails to explore the Four Mile Creek Preserve. The hike is free, however participants are asked to call Penfield Recreation at 340-8655, option 6, to register. Look for the hike signs off Whiting Road in Webster.

There are still many dates for the “Splash into Family Open Swim and Swim Lap” offered through the Penfield Recreation Department. The program runs October 16, 23, 30; November 6, 13, 20; and December 4. All the programs are held at the Penfield High School Pool and the fee is $2.00 per person, payable at the pool. Pool rules state: all swimmers must be completely potty trained; all hair must be secured back; a swimming adult must accompany any swimmer in the pool who measures less than 50 inches from chin to toe, or under the age of 10; and an adult must be on deck if the swimmer exceeds the height requirement, but is under the age of 10.

Daytime Education at Recreation (DEAR) programs have been a great hit and the offerings continue to grow and expand. DEAR has become an important staple to adults who understand the significance of engaging in intellectual and socially viable cognitive activities to help keep minds sharp and alert while reducing the risk, or delaying the onset of, age-related concerns. DEAR is also important to those who would like to reshape the way they spend their leisure time by meeting new and interesting people. Join the national movement to learn and share life experiences with others by exploring the multitude of free programs. For more details, please consult the fall 2015 PenRec brochure pages 26–35 or go to

Until next week, enjoy the mild weather!



October 6, 2015
Local History Room Open House 10/18

The Town of Penfield’s Local History Room will host an open house to showcase a new display of early 20th century kitchens on Sunday, October 18, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Local History Room, located within the Penfield Library, 1985 Baird Road.


“We don’t realize all of the modern conveniences we have until we look back at the way things used to be done,” said Town Historian Kathy Kanauer. “Many residents will find this exhibit to be nostalgic and fun to share with younger family members.”


LHR staff and volunteers will be on hand to discuss the display and answer questions. At 3:00 p.m. there will be a short talk on the work of women in the kitchen during this period.


Refreshments will be served.


October 5, 2015
Supervisor’s column: Week of 10/5

Join our annual Family Halloween Fun and Pizza Dinner on Friday, October 23 at the Penfield Community Center. Enjoy the free activities from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., including games, trick-or-treat, hayrides, crafts, music, and more! No need to worry about dinner, we'll take care of it! Come enjoy our pizza dinner for just $5 per person; this includes personal pizza, salad, chips, and a beverage. Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. To purchase dinner tickets in advance (recommended), please call 340-8655, option 6, or stop by the Recreation Office.

Also on Friday, October 23, be sure to check out the Historic Ghost Walk at Oakwood Cemetery! This year's theme will explore the mourning customs of the 19th century. Tours begin at 7:00 p.m. and run regularly throughout the evening. Please bring a flashlight! Tickets are $5 per person and may be purchased in advance or at the door. Purchasing advance tickets is advisable to ensure you will be able to participate. To purchase, please call (585) 340-8655, option 6.

In this week’s Farm Market/Garden Center series, I would like to highlight Rochester Lawn Care located at 1592 Qualtrough Road. Rochester Lawn Care has been in business since 1989 and provides lawn and tree care, landscaping, mowing, and snow and ice management. Stop by their market center or call them at 329-5296 for more information on their materials and services. You can also learn more at remember to shop locally, it does make a difference for the entire community.

The Penfield Symphony Orchestra’s 2015-2016 schedule is out, and once again the PSO Board of Directors and Music Director Dr. David Harman have put together a wonderful series starting off with Fantastically French on Monday, October 26. All concerts are held in the Penfield High School auditorium. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Free rides to the concerts are available by calling Lifespan at 872-0774. Go to for more information about the 2015-2016 schedule.

The town board will hold a public hearing at the October 7 legislative meeting on the proposed 2016 Preliminary Budget. If you are unable to attend you may view it live from, or view online any time after the event at your convenience. To do so, go to and click on ‘Communications’ on the left-hand column and go to ‘Television/Multimedia,’ then choose ‘Government Access’ and select an option from that media list.

Additionally, the entire 2016 Tentative Budget is online for review. We welcome comments and input on our current budget (2015) or the proposed budget (2016). If you would like to speak with me (340-8631) or Town Comptroller Barbara Chirdo (340-8621) please give us a call and we will provide you with any information you request. The town board is looking to adopt the 2016 budget at the October 21 legislative meeting.

Looking for something different to do Halloween night? Why not enjoy a Halloween Victorian Séance dinner theatre on Saturday, October 31 at 6:00 p.m. This will be an evening of dinner and history as we present “an old fashion séance.” The night will begin with an intriguing presentation by Jack Kowiak on Spiritualism in the United States, followed by a sumptuous five-course dinner. The night will conclude with a reenactment of an authentically staged 1900s séance conducted by “Madame Nora Scott,” the famous turn-of-the-century medium (please note the séance is for entertainment purposes only). Join in if you dare! Seating is limited so register early by calling 340-8655 or go to

Eldersource Care Management Services, a collaborative of LIFESPAN and the Catholic Family Center, is a community intake assessment and care management system. If features one telephone number entry into age-related services and professional social workers who guide older adults and caregivers through the complex long-term care system. For more information please call 325-2800. Please note that an Eldersource case worker will be at the Penfield Community Center the last Tuesday of every month.

Until next week, be well and be safe!





Town of Penfield
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