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Board mulls selections

Two days after Ballston Town Board members agreed to work together in serving the community, discussions ensued over committee appointments and a few of the town's organizational resolutions.

At the town's organizational meeting, Thursday, Jan. 3, council members Tim Szczepaniak, Kim Ireland and Mary Beth Hynes spoke out against some of new town Supervisor Patti Southworth's committee appointments.

Szczepaniak questioned why he was not appointed to the highway and building committee.

If there was any discussion on this topic, it would have been noted that I have extensive highway experience, said Szczepaniak.

Hynes took issue with Southworth's decision to remove her from the open space committee, which she worked on for several years.

Southworth, who placed herself on seven out of 12 committees, said any board member is welcome to attend committee meetings, and stood by her decisions.

"I did what I felt was best at this point," said Southworth. "I've resigned from my full-time job so I can spend more time at town hall completing research for the committees."

Southworth was a pharmacist.

The board also discussed a resolution to submit agenda items to the town supervisor five days before the next scheduled agenda meeting. However, several board members said the language of the resolution was too binding. They agreed with Southworth that the agenda should be posted on the Web site in an effort to make town government more open, but they wanted flexibility in submitting items. They amended the resolution to say that a preliminary agenda should be posted on the town's Web site five days prior to scheduled board meetings. The board approved the amended resolution.

There was also discussion about who had the authority to prepare and oversee publication of the town's newsletters, mailed out four times a year. While Southworth proposed she be the coordinator, council members voiced their preferences, saying the entire board should have authority over the publication.

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