Councilman Kyle Kotary said Messina's actions were no mistake, and accused him of manipulating the agenda to suit his own needs.
"Sam intentionally put a vague item of open discussion to create an atmosphere of chaos to hopefully, in his political calculation, would force us to punt again for two weeks," Kotary said in a later interview.
The supervisor prepares the agenda for Town Board meetings.
Planning Board stays at seven
At the last board meeting, members left the issue of Planning Board appointments open to continue candidate interviews and to discuss if the board should be reordered as a cost savings measure. Planning Board members are paid $5,263 annually.
As evidenced by the 4-to-1 vote, a majority felt the board should remain a seven-member entity.
"I think in the end, given the projects that are developing in this town. I have come to the conclusion that this is a very important board and not the time or the place to think about reducing that board," said Councilwoman Joann Dawson.
Kotary, who at the last Town Board meeting spoke of the potential for cost savings, expressed similar thoughts.
"I'd rather ensure we have the quantity of quality representation," and seek cost savings elsewhere, he said.
All five members of the Town Board acknowledged the quality and volume of applications that had been received.
Concerns were expressed over the board's ability to form a quorum if the seats were left vacant (four of the remaining five members would have to be present to constitute a quorum until the board was formally reformed into a five-member entity). Councilman Mark Hennessey said that important projects before the board require timely consideration.
"I wouldn't want those to not go forward because we didn't take action," he said.
Messina said he believes filling one seat would send an appropriate message to residents.