One of the vice presidents and co-owners of the Auburn medical software company Medent resigned from his position Friday amid discussions of selling the family-owned business to an unspecified buyer.
Doug Cuthbert, one of co-founder Edward Cuthbert's six children, said Tuesday that he "strongly" opposes the decision to sell and is "very disappointed."
Company CEO Gary Cuthbert, one of Doug's brothers, said the company's ownership status has not changed but he declined further comment.
"I thought it was best (to resign) because I felt so strongly about it," Doug Cuthbert said on Tuesday. "I knew it was coming and I kind of transitioned myself out of my job the best I could over the last few weeks."
Employees at the company, which has its headquarters on Hulbert Street, learned about the possible sale Friday via a companywide email from Doug, who provided The Citizen with a copy on Tuesday.
"I am resigning (effective) today," the email reads. "I do not support selling the company and think it is best that I not stay on for the transition. I want to thank everyone for all your hard work over the years. It has been a pleasure to work with you and I wish you the best. I am sorry to leave on such short notice but I did let the other owners know my plans some time ago."
Medent was founded in 1968 as Community Computer Service by Edward Cuthbert, Doug and Gary's father, and Dick Fitzgerald. Edward Cuthbert died in April at age 91.
The Cuthbert family owns the company. In addition to Gary, brothers George and Bob work for Medent.
The company employs about 260 people and provides medical software systems for over 8,000 physicians worldwide, according to an April story in The Citizen.
AUBURN — Tim Lattimore will keep his District 13 seat representing part of the city of Auburn on the Cayuga County Legislature. The Republican incumbent won by 10 votes against Democrat Bob Nodzo after absentee ballots were unofficially counted Tuesday.
Republican Chris Petrus's third campaign has also been successful for the District 4 seat. He beat incumbent and independent Grant Kyle by an unofficial 29 votes.
The District 13 race was tight on election night, with the Cayuga County Board of Elections showing Lattimore winning by one vote. The board had issued 67 absentee ballots, of which 35 were to registered Democrats. The board of elections said 21 absentee ballots were handed out to registered Republicans. Not everyone mailed in their ballot.
The board said Tuesday that Lattimore earned 24 votes via absentee, and Nodzo earned 15. The unofficial tally between the candidates was 329 to 319. This will be Lattimore's third and final term on the Legislature.
"I'd like to thank my opponent for running a really decent campaign," Lattimore said Tuesday night. "Hopefully, as I've mentioned before, because of my term limits, he'd be a good candidate to run next time."
Nodzo did not return The Citizen's request for comment.
District 4, which represents the town of Brutus, was leaning more toward Petrus on election night after he won by an unofficial 24 votes. The board had said 62 absentee ballots were issued in that district, of which most were to registered Republicans. Petrus received 22 absentee votes, and Kyle received 17, according to the unofficial count. Overall, Petrus won 488 votes to Kyle's 459.
Petrus will serve out the remainder of the seat's term. It was on the ballot this year due to the resignation of Mark Farrell in 2016. The Legislature had appointed Kyle to the seat until the next election cycle. This is Petrus's third campaign for the office, and he told The Citizen Tuesday that he was pleased with the voter turnout.
"I was always within 20 to 30 votes," he said of his past races, "so I think we just managed to get over the hill, so to speak."
He said he's looking forward to working with both Democrats and Republicans and accomplishing some things.
Kyle said he was happy to see more voters turn out than in previous election years. He added that he admired Petrus for his persistence in seeking office, and was glad he will have a chance to represent the people of Brutus. For now, Kyle said he's taking a vacation, and will reassess whether he wants to continue in the political realm.
"It was a good fight," he said of this race.
SKANEATELES — The Skaneateles Central School District's capital project easily passed Tuesday night.
A total of 638 community members voted in favor of Project 2021 — set at a cost not to exceed $36.5 million — while 147 voted against.
Superintendent Ken Slentz said the district is "incredibly grateful" to the community for coming out to vote. Work on submitting the project to the state education department by January 2018 for approval will begin Wednesday morning.
Voting was held at the Skaneateles Central School District office from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The project involves reconstruction and upgrades for the district's buildings.
The community's share of the project is set to be around $12 million, to be paid off over 18 years. The payment schedule had previously been 20 years, but was altered due to a change in scope for Waterman Primary School. It is anticipated the project will be eligible for around $22 million in state aid. The district also has $2,250,000 in capital reserves to go toward the project and a $110,784 gift set aside for the press box. The district's calculations have been based on an estimate of 95 percent of the project being eligible for state aid.
Skaneateles resident Michelle LaComb, speaking before casting her vote Tuesday afternoon, said she intended to vote in favor. She said she has a son in the district, and that she believes the improvements should be made.
LaComb said she was unfazed by the $12 million share to be put on the district.
"I'm really not concerned about it, because I think in the long run whatever improvements we make to the district are going to help the community and our children throughout the years to come," LaComb said.
Mark Simmons, who said he moved to Skaneateles specifically for the school district in 1989, said before he voted that he leaned in favor of the project. He said he knows district administrators and teachers and trusts their judgement. Simmons added he raised three children in the district and has grandchildren in the area now.
The project's scope includes remedying a campus-wide drainage system, replacing Waterman Primary School's 1972 boiler, reconstructing the middle school's gym, replacing the high school's windows from 1986, fixing the primary school's leaking foundation, establishing energy efficiency in the classrooms and replacing sections of each school building's roof at the end of or past their warranties, among other items.
The Project 2021 name refers to the year a piece of the district's mortgage on the undertaking will be paid off.
THROOP — The driver and sole occupant of a pickup truck that struck a utility pole at the intersection of Turnpike Road and North Division Street Road in Throop on Tuesday morning has died, state police said.
An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday to determine the exact cause of the man's death, police said. Initial reports indicated the driver was in cardiac arrest after the crash occurred. Rescuers from the Throop and Aurelius fire departments extricated the driver of the truck from the wreckage and he was taken to Auburn Community Hospital.
A portion of Turnpike Road was closed to traffic Tuesday while police investigated the crash.
The driver was traveling northeast on Turnpike Road when he went off the road and struck a power pole in that area, causing the pole to split.
The crash, northwest of Auburn, occurred just before 10:15 a.m. Crews from New York State Electric and Gas arrived on the scene around 10:30 a.m.
AMR Ambulance, Cayuga County Sheriff's Office deputies and New York State Police also responded to the accident.