M anlius Mayor Mark-Paul Serafin has a court date in October to answer to a charge that he violated village code by collecting recyclable cans and bottles that were left at the curb for weekly pickup.
Mayor Serafin said he started collecting cans and bottles some ten years ago as a way to cut into the problem of litter. He then started using the deposit money to help care for his ailing Labrador who passed away this past July.
Serafin said he did not know until recently that collecting cans and bottles was a violation of village code. He believes a political opponent decided to alert police that the mayor may have been doing something outside of the law. "Someone took a shot at me. They filed a complaint. They brought the code to the police department," explained Serafin.
Initially this summer he tried to adapt the way he collected the cans and bottles by having neighbors put them out separately from the trash collection day. He enjoyed making the rounds because he found it a great way to stay in contact with village residents.
Now the mayor says he will not longer collect recyclables, "It's embarassing. I don't want to do anything that purposely flies in the face of the laws and regulations of the Village of Manlius. It's not my intent."
Mark-Paul Serafin is scheduled to appear in Manlius Village Court at 7:00 pm on October 7th. He does not yet know whether he will hire an attorney.