Cunningham reappointed as DPW commish

There was also a long question and answer session between Kriss and Dustin. The councilman posed several questions such as whether the town had contacted the education department or the NYSSPE after the organization sent out its second letter to the town on April 1. The letter, similar to the one sent in Jan. 2010, said the town was in violation of the state's education law by not hiring a licensed engineer to the commissioner position.

Magguilli said the town did not contact the NYSSPE after the original letter because it was used as evidence during the lawsuit to support plaintiff Theodore Ricket's deposition. He added that the appellate court was silent of the issue of Cunningham not being an engineer. He also said there were calls out to the New York State Education Department that have not been returned.

But the main point made by both Supervisor Paula Mahan and Magguilli is that the town has several engineers that Cunningham will consult. Mahan also said the town contracts out to engineering firms for some project, which is a practice she claimed was done by the previous administration.

Colonie resident Pete Molinaro, a corporate attorney, said he was concerned the town could find itself in legal trouble because of a New York State Supreme Court Appellate court decision ruling Cunningham's appointment invalid before Thursday's resolution changing the residency requirements was passed. Molinaro said he believed the change to Cunningham's position 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 to 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."

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