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Cairo Town Board votes again for planning board appointments

Jan 13, 2022 5:55 am

Andrea Macko reports for Porcupine Soup that on Jan. 12 the Cairo Town Board for the second time voted on two positions on the town's planning board. Before last year ended, outgoing Cairo Town Supervisor John Coyne and the former town board voted to reappoint Planning Board Chair Joseph Hasenkopf and alternate member Christopher Keff. But their seats were not open for appointments until the end of the year, when Coyne was no longer supervisor and the town board changed. As the first vote was taken, two then town board members, Jason Watts and Mary-Jo Cords abstained, explaining that the old board was not allowed to vote on appointments that were up to the future board. Soon after the vote, Town Attorney Tal Rappleyea said the first vote was illegal. “Because the seats weren’t vacant at the time of the appointment, there is no appointment because there was no seat to be filled,” Rappleyea said. “The only exception would have been if the entire town board were going to be the same from last year to this year, then they could make that motion then because you basically wouldn’t be tying the hands of a future board,” he continued. “So, since we had some change in the board and there were no vacancies in the seats [until January 1] we have to go back and redo it.” On Jan. 12, the new board voted to keep Hasenkopf as planning board chair, but chose Richard Lorenz as alternate instead of Keff. Watts, Cords and new board member Michael Flaherty voted for Lorenz, with Stephen Kralovich and Tim Powers favoring Keff. Lorenz was previously on the town board and a member of the planning board, which he resigned from in April of 2016. Read more about this story at Porcupine Soup.

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