Neals returns to Scotia Board of Trustees

Former official appointed to seat after Kohout takes public works post

A familiar face has returned to the Scotia Village Board of Trustees after a sitting board member was hired to lead the Public Works Department.

Andrew Kohout was selected to be the village's new public works superintendent after a vacancy was created when the village removed Jeffrey Stuart at the beginning of the year after a one-year probationary period. Kohout, a Democrat is leaving his trustee position, which he has held for just over two years. Republican Thomas Neals was selected by Democrat Mayor Kris Kastberg to fill the vacancy until the upcoming November election. Neals lost reelection in 2010 by 36 votes.

It was an usual situation, but those things happen, said Kastberg about the recent hire and appointment. "I knew that was going to be sticky for me. [Kohout] didn't express an interest in the position until we decided to look for another candidate."

Kastberg has authority to make an appointment to the board of trustees once a vacancy is created, and, he said, party affiliation wasn't going to affect his decision. Neals was the board's police department liaison until he lost the election and Kohout took over the duties. With talks of police consolidation or enhanced shared services between the village and the Town of Glenville, Neals is in a good position with his established understanding of the department.

"You can't really afford partisan politics in the village," said Kastberg. "We are right in the middle of building our budget for this coming year to get him back on board, we got somebody that was up to speed and ready to go and ready to contribute, so that was kind of a no-brainer."

Neals agreed politics doesn't play a big role in the village and said he is excited to rejoin the board.

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