As the phrase \respectfully disagree was tossed around a bit, the resolution changing the job requirements for both Jack Cunningham's position and Richard Naylor's position was passed on a 6-1 vote tonight.
The resolution says the comissioner of DPW will be appointed based on their administrative experience and qualifications as well as other standards required by the Town Board. The commissioner, however, does not have to have any specific license or prior education of the duties of the position. The person under consideration must be a resident of Albany County.
For the Library director's position, the person must be a resident of Albany County and must have the minimum experience and qualifications established by the Department of Civil Service.
Mark Kriss, attorney for the New York State Society of Professional Engineers, said that Cunningham was risking committing a felony as well as civil penalties for assuming the duties of an engineer.
"If the duties do embrace actual performance and include supervision and ability, in effect, by job description, are engineering in nature, he has to have a license," he said.
Town attorney Mike Magguilli said this is not the case since Cunningham does not make any design decisions or other duties an engineer would and mainly performs administrative duties. He also contested that the education law referred to both by Councilman Dan Dustin and Kriss was being misinterpreted.
"It does not say he has to be a licensed engineer," he said. "I think you and I think that's where you'd like everyone to draw the conclusion."
Pete Molinaro, a corporate attorney and former insurance, was concerned the town could find itself in more legal trouble after a New York State Supreme Court Appellate cpurt decision ruled Cunningham's appointment invalid. He said he believed the change to Cunningham's possession would not fall under a special statute and was instead a general one, based on local law. He said the town would still be in violation of the court's decision
"I ask to you guys put passion aside and think seriously if you want to do this in respect to the position in the town," he said. "Take the time and hopefully go in a different direction with this."
Under the Municipal Home Rule Law, Magguilli said the town is allowed to amend state law. And in this case, Cunningham's position is a special law.
"We consider it is a special law," he said.