Near the head of the U-shaped table where Putnam County legislators regularly take up residency, Tony Hay's seat sat empty at the start of Tuesday's meeting.
About 10 minutes later, a new representative settled into the District 6 spot.
The body unanimously moved to appoint Southeast Town Council member Roger Gross — whom voters elected in November to serve a second term on the board — to carry out Hay's term. The latter was appointed to the position of Southeast supervisor this weekend, and his term as a legislator expires in 2013. To retain the seat, which pays $35,136 annually, Gross will have to run in November of this year, too.
The appointment was the fourth item of business on the agenda Tuesday. Legislator Dan Birmingham, whose district covers the Village of Brewster, suggested Gross for the job.
His was the only nomination. Birmingham pointed to Gross' service in two branches of the military and his decades of employment with the as factors behind the recommendation.
After the unanimous vote and a round of applause, Gross was sworn in by Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy. He thanked members of the Legislature and said he is "honored, excited and energized to be part" of the body.
He also said that his commitment to Southeast residents has not wavered — a message he stressed late last month in .
"Nothing has changed," he said, adding that this position will allow him to serve folks in Southeast, just in a different capacity.
The agenda for Thursday's Southeast Town Board meeting includes a discussion on "filling the vacancy of the Town Board Council position."
for more on the meeting.
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