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Cairo Town Board takes illegal vote

Jan 05, 2022 1:45 pm

Andrea Macko reports in Porcupine Soup that outgoing Cairo Town Supervisor John Coyne, and Councilpersons Stephen Kralovich and Tim Powers broke the law Dec. 29, and voted to appoint new planning board members before the new year. “In New York a seat cannot be filled unless there is a vacancy, so any appointments made before the end of the sitting person’s term can’t stand, even if it was the same person and the same position,” said Cairo Town Attorney Tal Rappleyea, who was not at the Dec. 29 meeting. Council members Mary-Jo Cords and Jason Watts, who was on the town board at the time of the vote, and is now town supervisor, both refused to vote on the appointments at the Dec. 29 meeting. “I just want it to be on the record that you are setting the precedent for future boards to think it is okay and just go ahead and appoint people just before the first of the year and not letting the new board go on with it,” said Watts. The terms of Planning Board Chair Joseph Hasenkopf and one-year alternate member Christopher Keff were set to expire Dec. 31, but had not expired yet. That's when Coyne, Kralovich, and Powers took the illegal action of re-appointing them. Now the new town board without Coyne will vote on appointments to the planning board January 12. The story does not say whether any charges or actions will be taken against Coyne, Kralovich, and Powers for their illegal vote. Andrea Macko reports in Porcupine Soup.