Elmendorf contract signed

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The Amsterdam Common Council approved a five-year contract with Laura Elmendorf, concessionaire at the city’s municipal golf course.

A resolution approving the contract was tabled at the Feb. 4 council meeting. Aldermen voted 4-0 Tuesday to remove it from the table, then passed it with the same margin. Fifth Ward Alderman Richard Leggiero did not attend the meeting.

The resolution was amended to eliminate an automatic 3 year extension as well as well as to remove the section authorizing the deputy mayor or city clerk to sign the contract if the mayor refused.

Elmendorf and Mayor Ann Thane signed the contract in the mayor’s office after the meeting.

Elmendorf addressed the council during the public comment portion of the meeting and asked Corporation Counsel Gerard DeCusatis for clarification on some of the contract language. After the meeting, she called the agreement “a good contract” and said she looked forward to another year of operating the restaurant and bar at the golf course.

No further action was taken on a similar resolution to renew the contract of golf professional Joe Merendo, which was approved Feb. 4. Thane said after the meeting that she hopes to meet “in a week or so” with Merendo, his lawyer and DeCusatis.

“Hopefully we can come to some amenable agreement,” Thane said.

Thane said the issue with Merendo’s contract is financial, not personal.

“I’m concerned that this has become a personal issue, when that is never what it was,” she said after the meeting. “I feel very badly for [Merendo]. Political forces have put him in the middle of this. For me, it always has been about the money.”

Council members originally passed a resolution approving the contract with Merendo. Thane vetoed the measure, and the council voted to override her veto. Aldermen then voted to allow the deputy mayor or city clerk to sign the contract if the mayor does not.

Fourth Ward Alderwoman and Deputy Mayor Diane Hatzenbuhler said after Tuesday’s meeting that she will do just that.

“If [Thane] refuses, we’re ready to sign,” she said.

John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.