For 40 years, the Brockport/Sweden/Clarkson Joint Recreation Commission developed, organized and operated recreational programming for the community. For 20 of those years, half the commission’s life span, Jim Stull was the mayor of the Village of Brockport.
On April 25, the Sweden Town Board and the Sweden Community Foundation honored the former mayor’s support of recreation by naming a newly refurbished conference room at the Sweden/Clarkson Community Center, the James H. Stull Conference Room.
“It’s not hard to figure out that without Jim’s support, the recreation commission could not have existed, succeeded and flourished,” said Sweden Supervisor Nat O. Lester, III during the April 25 ceremony. “The groundwork that the joint recreation commission laid during its tenure enabled the Towns of Sweden and Clarkson to transition from a part-time seasonal recreation program to a full-time year-round program that meets the needs of a community of 20,000 residents.”
The intermunicipal agreement between the Village of Brockport and the Towns of Sweden and Clarkson to establish the joint recreation commission was one of the earliest intermunicipal agreements in Monroe County. It was also one of the longest running and has been used as an example by other communities wishing to create successful partnerships, Lester said.
Mayor Stull was well known for his ability to forge partnerships, reconcile disagreements and help differing factions find common ground, according to his son-in-law Sweden Councilperson Tom Ferris. The mayor’s ex-officio office during Stull’s tenure was the Stull Lumberyard on Park Avenue. It was there that village residents could speak to Stull about issues and usually leave with reassurance that their concerns would be addressed. Mayor Stull fostered strong relationships between local governments and made sure that taxpayer’s dollars were used to their maximum potential.
When the Town of Sweden undertook the renovation of the conference room at the Community Center, naming it after Stull seemed like a natural way to recognize the mayor’s commitment to both recreation and intermunicipal cooperation, Ferris said.
Jeremy Oakden, Sweden’s Director of Buildings and Grounds, and his assistant, Todd Dobson, built solid cherry wainscoting around the 500 square foot conference room, laid new flooring, refinished the woodwork and constructed custom cabinetry. The room has been outfitted with projection and telephone equipment; a television/video DVD player donated by the Ferris family – in short all the accoutrements needed in a modern conference room. The community center features wireless Internet service.
Close to 40 family members, friends, municipal representatives and former village officials attended the ceremony including retired village board members Mary Ann Thorpe, Ruth Kaznowski, Norm Knapp, Bob Reynolds and Carl Wheat. Other former village department heads/employees in attendance included Elliot Reynolds, Fred Perrine, Bill Weber and Gary Zimmer. The Town of Clarkson was represented by Supervisor Paul Kimball and Councilperson Allan Hoy. Representing the current Village Board was Trustee Connie Castaneda. Ferris read a letter from Brockport Mayor Mort Wexler congratulating Stull for the recognition.
The James H. Stull Conference Room is available for use by community groups. Call the Sweden/Clarkson Community Center at 431-0090 for information about reserving the conference room.