Following a pair of tie votes at the Town Board's first meeting of the year, council members — and residents — recently revisited the issue of a four-person body.
At last week's meeting, Southeast Supervisor Tony Hay said the Board is accepting applications for the open spot left by earlier this month. He stepped down after being appointed to the Putnam County Legislature.
Previously, board members disagreed on whether filling the vacancy was necessary.
Hay, Councilman Bob Cullen and Councilwoman Elizabeth Hudak said they would prefer to find a replacement, which would prevent 2-2 votes. Newcomer spoke in favor of leaving the seat open.
"I don't think that the one vote justifies spending the money," she said, referring to the roughly $17,000 salary each board member is slated to earn this year.
Hay recognized Eckardt's point and said that while he'd like to save the money, too, he believes it's in the Town's best interest to appoint a fifth member. He also noted that a fifth council person is already budgeted for in 2012.
A couple of audience members spoke out in favor of filling the vacancy during the public comment portion of the meeting. Resident Edmund Rose said the issue is of "enormous importance." Another resident, Bradley Schwartz, said board members shouldn't have to worry about tie votes, but rather consider every issue carefully and vote with their consciences.
At the meeting, Hay told folks that three residents, , and Richard Ruchala, have submitted resumes. The four members of the Board would vote on the appointment.
Both Alvarez and Sloat ran for Town Board in the November election. Gross and Eckardt each won a seat. Ruchala owns the .
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