Editor, The Spotlight:
Almost overlooked in the aftermath of last month’s elections is the vacancy created by Town Board member Mark Jordan’s election as Town Justice. He will be leaving his town board post in January, creating a vacancy to be filled for a one-year period by the Town Board.
This appointment is as important to Town residents as were the hard fought contests for Town Supervisor and Town Board during this year’s election. Therefore we should pay close attention to the appointment criteria and process.
Few would argue that the voters sent a message this fall about their need to have a real choice on Election Day. But what often happens with replacement appointments is that a political insider is named who goes on to run for office the following year with the many advantages of incumbency.
I recommend that the Board take a fresh, non-partisan approach by making a true interim appointment – naming an individual with appropriate skills and knowledge, who would agree to serve without running in the election to fill the vacancy next November. This would ensure that the voters have a real choice when they get a chance to vote next year, and that the candidates would run on a level playing field.
I urge the Town Board and new Supervisor to give careful thought to this appointment, and to choose a qualified interim appointee while preserving a real choice for the voters next year.
Susan K. Hager