Hub Frawley started his first meeting as the Village of Angola's new mayor with a curveball Monday night, calling on his predecessor -- and rival -- James Carlson to start the meeting by leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
Frawley said he wanted to honor Carlson for his work on Main Street's renovation.
Then the gloves came off as the annual organizational meeting became something else, with Frawley delaying most of the appointments until April 18.
One choice he did make was naming himself police commissioner. The board had named William Houston police commissioner at its previous meeting. Carlson had held the post before losing to Frawley in the March 15 election.
"As mayor, I will be reassuming the statutory authority to supervise the conduct of the police and other officers," Frawley said.
Frawley said he would not be making many other appointments, since he had not had an opportunity to talk with the trustees about what issues they wanted to address.
He did name new Trustee Michael Stockman as his deputy mayor.
Frawley also had pointed comments about interviews with two Erie County sheriff's deputies in an executive session earlier, a meeting scheduled without his input. The board apparently intends to replace Police Chief Patrick Puckhaber with a part-time coordinator when he retires Aug. 1.
The mayor said he had checked with the county's personnel department and found that no such position exists in Angola and that to create one, the village would have to include a list of minimum qualifications.
"What legitimate purpose could there have been to hold interviews with potential applicants for a position, the qualifications for which do not exist?" he said.
A crowd of about 75, most of them Frawley supporters, came to the meeting in Village Hall, which has a legal seating limit of 28. The meeting was moved next door to the fire hall.
Most people kept their coats on, and the speakers' comments were interspersed with dispatches from the fire radio. That was in addition to the rumble and whistles of four or five freight trains passing by.
Frawley brought his own microphone for his swearing-in and those of Stockman and fellow Trustee John Wilson.
It was hooked up to a speaker that looked like a 1950s air-raid warning system but that has served successfully at Fire Department raffles and other events for years.
The board also held a public hearing on its proposed budget for 2005-06 but put off voting on it after criticisms from the public.
Cuts in spending on the Fire Department and a cut in the mayor's pay were among the issues.
The proposed budget calls for cutting the mayor's salary from $5,000 to $3,900, while keeping trustees' pay at $2,700. Trustee Johnica DiMartino insisted that the decision to cut the salary was made before Carlson lost the election.
It was decided to keep trustees' salaries at $2,700, the same they have been since 1988, she said. The mayor's pay went back to its level of two years ago.