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Berne officials reappoint disputed code-enforcement officer for one more year

Jan 21, 2021 2:15 pm

Noah Zweifel is reporting for The Altamont Enterprise the Berne Town Board January 14, reappointed Chance Townsend as the town code-enforcement officer for one more year. The appointment was approved 3 to 1, on a motion by Deputy Supervisor Dennis Palow. The position remained unfilled after the January 6 reorganizational meeting because the motion put forward at that time lacked the votes needed to approve the appointment. Late last year it was reported that Townsend was uncertified because he failed to complete any of the required annual in-service training for for nearly two years. The board did not acknowledge its error in appointing Townsend illegally, but announced in December that it would advertise to fill the position, along with that of the town’s dog-catcher, based on resident feedback. Ultimately, both of the 2020 appointments were reappointed. Townsend’s certification was reinstated on December 17, according to the Department of State. Two other candidates for the code-enforcement position included Timothy Lippert, a Berne resident who formerly served as the town’s building inspector; and Kevin Flensted, of Westerlo, who serves as chief of the Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company. Prior to his Jan. 1, 2020 appointment, Townsend served as code enforcement officer for 13 months before he resigned in early 2019.due to frustrations with the board’s then Democrat majority. Under the current GOP-majority board, Townsend will receive a 24-percent raise this year. Read the full story in The Altamont Enterprise.