An Example Of Good Governance

The village of Mayville had found itself in a sticky situation recently.

Its lease with the Chautauqua Belle wasn’t satisfactory – to either party, it appears. Village officials had to protect the safety of the taxpayers they are elected to represent while acknowledging the will of those very taxpayers to keep the Chautauqua Belle operating from its familiar launching spot in Lakeside Park. U.S. Steam Lines Ltd. officials had trouble making lease payments to the village and weren’t happy at all with a two-year lease that had been proposed. Things proceeded down a road of eviction – a course that protected the village in case of injury near the Belle until a lease could be approved – while Chautauqua Belle officials were busy looking for another home. Moving the Chautauqua Belle from its longtime home in Lakeside Park would have benefitted no one. Keeping the historic steamboat in Mayville, however, would involve both sides giving a little.

While there are still some details to be ironed out, the village and U.S. Steam Lines Ltd. officials should consider their job well done. Village Board members increased the term of their lease proposal from two years to four years, a move that surprised even the Belle’s operators. The lease terms of $4,000 the first year, $4,080 the second year, $4,161 in the third year and $4,244 in the fourth year seem agreeable. Both sides seem to expect the final details to be settled soon and the Belle to remain in Mayville.

All too often, we see government officials make decisions that fly in the face of their constituents’ desires. The 100 people who took the time to attend Tuesday’s Mayville Village Board meeting should be commended for speaking their peace respectfully. The Mayville Village Board should be commended for taking the public’s thoughts to heart and making an effort to make everyone in this circumstance happy. They should also be commended for being happy to see their constituents.

“This gives us a strong sense of direction,” Mayville Mayor Martin Bova said after the meeting. “This is great. Thank you, and I mean it. From the bottom of my heart, and I’m speaking for everybody here, I really appreciate everyone coming out tonight.”

In short, Mayville residents were treated to a meeting from which everyone walked away pretty happy. That truly is newsworthy.


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