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Bob Friedlander becomes new Village of Whitesboro Mayor

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

WHITESBORO, N.Y. (WKTV) - Just hours after Brenda Gilberti resigned as the Village of Whitesboro's Mayor, the Village Board put Trustee Bob Friedlander in charge.

Friedlander became Village Mayor Wednesday evening after Deputy Mayor and Trustee Raymond Daviau, who would typically become Mayor, was out of town.

Announcing her resignation Wednesday afternoon in a signed letter, Brenda Gilberti said that while it's been an honor to serve Whitesboro Village for the past two years, she needed a supportive board behind her, one that looks at taxpayers dollars. That's something she says was not the case in Whitesboro.

Gilberti sent a statement saying:

"As the Village's budget manager, I am not in agreement with recent financial decisions, ones I believe are irresponsible, and will drastically impact taxpayers."

The now-Mayor Friedlander speculates that these financial decisions were about the village's recent purchase of a garbage truck for the Village to start their own garbage pick up.

"Trustee Glenn and Trustee O'Connor did extensive research, checked with other communities that are currently doing their own garbage pick up and they were able to come up with a conclusion that it was in the best interest of the village," says Friedlander.

Gilberti's resignation statement continued saying:

"I do not have the unilateral influence to change these policies and see this resignation as the only way to blow the whistle on decisions that will set Whitesboro back, hurt our residents."

However, Mayor Friedlander says that the Village's recent purchase will not cost taxpayers because they are going to take existing money that was used for garbage pickup to create the Village's own garbage service.

"The payment plan is designed so that it's not going to cost taxpayers any money, because we were paying approximately $87,000 a year to an outside hauler to pick up our trash," says Friedlander. "Now we're going to take a good portion of that money to buy the new garbage truck. Therefore it's not like we're creating a larger debt on the Village."

As shocked as he was with her resignation, Friedlander says he respects Gilberti's work as a mayor.

"She worked very hard and long hours to help get this Village out of debt and along with the board and with the taxpayers, we managed to get ourselves out of debt," says Friedlander.

Now Mayor Friedlander hopes his two years as Village Trustee and six years on the Planning Board will help him do the job.

"When I woke up this morning, it wasn't the plan to become Mayor of Whitesboro," says Friedlander. "It was kind of a plan I had down the road when I was maybe a little older and able to retire from my full time job, but that being said I feel I am suitable to do the job."

The Village will hold a special meeting on April 2nd to decide whether Bob Friedlander will remain mayor for a term of one year or if someone else will be appointed.

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