Local News for Thursday March 9, 2023

City of Ithaca Seeks Public Input for National Police Chief Search, Union Critical

The city of Ithaca is pushing ahead with its second search for a permanent police chief. On Tuesday it announced two virtual meetings for members of the public to voice their priorities for the role. The two sessions will be Saturday March 11 from 11:00am to 12:30pm and on Monday March 13  from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Links for the Zoom meetings and a form for submitting input are posted at WRFI.ORG. 

In related news, yesterday, the Ithaca Police Benevolent Association denounced a move by City Hall to cancel the police chief civil service exam. The city has hired an outside firm to recruit the next chief from a national pool. According to the PBA, on February 15 the city announced the exam’s cancellation and directed internal candidates to apply with the search firm. Tom Condzella, president of the Ithaca PBA which represents three internal candidates for chief, was harshly critical of the mayor and the national search.

Elmira Completes High Efficiency Street Light Installation

Elmira will be completing its 10-year process of replacing residential street lights with energy efficient LEDs. According to WETM, the last 400 lights should be installed by the end of the summer. Though replacing the lamps has cost the city, LED street lights use a quarter to a third the power of the sodium lights they’re replacing. 

Ithaca Nonprofit Announces Cannabis Dispensary Plans 

Challenge Workforce Solutions of Ithaca is one of eight New York nonprofits to be awarded a state license to sell weed. Challenge provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities or other barriers. According to the Ithaca Journal, the agency will open a dispensary called Aspire. They say it will create up to 20 jobs and will offer a boutique experience as well as a drive through option. Aspire is the second state-licensed dispensary to announce its intention to open Ithaca in recent weeks.

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