COLONIE — The Republican candidate for town supervisor is calling on the incumbent to pass an anti-nepotism law similar to the one defeated by the Albany County Legislature last week.
“An open, transparent, and professional government is a cornerstone of our democracy,” said Frank Mauriello, the Legislature’s minority leader who is taking on Supervisor Paula Mahan. “Individuals who attain jobs because of who they are related to is wrong. Today, I call on Supervisor Mahan to support and pass a similar resolution for the Town.”
Mauriello voted for the measure that would have disallowed the hiring of
an Albany County elected official’s family member – spouse, child, stepchild, parent, stepparent, sibling or stepsibling, grandparent, or grandchild – during his or her term in office or for four years after leaving office. But, the measure failed by a count of 25-13.
Of Mauriello’s request, Mahan said she was “surprised.”
“My opponent didn’t have any problem with nepotism when he was on the Town Board,” she said. “There were many family members of elected
officials and other staff that worked in the town.”
She said, at the time Mauriello was on the board, the town attorney and the receiver of taxes were husband and wife.
On the bigger issue, she said, it’s difficult to look at just one thing when it comes to who you can and can’t hire.
“Civil Service plays a big role and most of our jobs are Civil Service and we have to follow that law,”
she said. “It’s not right to deny someone because they might be related to someone and they pass a civil service test and are in the top three.”
The county law would have applied to any job not governed by civil service and rather focused on the handful of political appointments in Albany County.
Mauriello said the law would help ensure the town’s workforce is a “fully professional and qualified.
“The town needs a dedicated and competent staff,” he said. “For too long political favoritism has hindered public trust in our local governments. This would help reverse that trend and be another tool to ensure the right people get the right jobs to make government work for you.”