Westchester County
New York

Resolution
RES-2020-29

PH - Filling a Vacancy in the Office of County Legislator

Information

Department:Board of LegislatorsSponsors:D5 Legislator (Chairman) Benjamin Boykin, Majority Leader MaryJane Shimsky, D13 Legislator Lyndon Williams, D8 Legislator (Vice Chair) Alfreda Williams, D17 Legislator Jose Alvarado, D9 Legislator Catherine Borgia, D2 Legislator Kitley Covill, D15 Legislator Ruth Walter, D16 Legislator (Majority Whip) Christopher Johnson, D11 Legislator Terry A. Clements
Category:Public Hearing

Body

A Public Hearing on a "LOCAL LAW amending Section 107.11(2) of the Laws of Westchester County in relation to filling a vacancy in the office of County Legislator."  [Public Hearing set for March 23, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.].  LOCAL LAW INTRO 12416-2020.

Meeting History

Feb 24, 2020 7:00 PM  Board of Legislators Regular Meeting

On motion of Ms. Shimsky the above item was received, filed and referred to the Committees on Appointments and Legislation.

RESULT:REFERRED TO COMMITTEE
Mar 2, 2020 1:00 PM  Legislation Committee Meeting

Joint with Appointments

Guests: County Attorney John Nonna and Chief Deputy County Attorney Stacey Dolgin-Kmetz

Legislator Covill stated it was a good time to review this law because New York State had a lot of changes in election law. Legislator Johnson, who chaired the Board's Voting Reform Working Group, discussed the Group's findings. The full report of the Group's findings can be found at https://westchesterlegislators.com/images/PDF/2019vrwgfinalreport.pdf.

Ms. Dolgin-Kmetz discussed how and why the law was originally changed in 1998. Legislator Covill asked if there was a written opinion issued in 1998 as to whether this law violates the constitutional right to free speech. Ms. Dolgin-Kmetz stated that although she was working here in 1998, she was not aware of or in possession of such a memo. She believes that it was discussed and the Board decided to go forward at that time.

Legislator L. Williams asked if there was a mandatory referendum at that time. Ms. Dolgin-Kmetz said there was, and the original law required a mandatory referendum because it curtailed the power of an elected official. Legislator L. Williams asked whether the part of the law providing that a person could not serve a subsequent term was part of the referendum. Ms. Dolgin-Kmetz said it was not required because that part of the law did not take away any power. Legislator Borgia asked for confirmation on the current law, and Ms. Dolgin-Kmetz and Mr. Nonna confirmed that the current law is not subject to mandatory or permissive referendum because it does not meet the requirements.

Legislator Johnson advised that the Working Group's report also discussed the issue of a vacancy in the position of County Executive, and that legislation on this issue should also be considered.

With a motion by Legislator L. Williams, seconded by Legislator Borgia, the item was approved for all purposes with a vote of 7 - 0.

RESULT:SIGNED BY COMMITTEE
Mar 2, 2020 1:02 PM  Appointments Committee Meeting

Legislator Covill stated it was a good time to review this law because New York State had a lot of changes in election law. Legislator Johnson, who chaired the Board's Voting Reform Working Group, discussed the Group's findings. The full report of the Group's findings can be found at https://westchesterlegislators.com/images/PDF/2019vrwgfinalreport.pdf.

Ms. Dolgin-Kmetz discussed how and why the law was originally changed in 1998. Legislator Covill asked if there was a written opinion issued in 1998 as to whether this law violates the constitutional right to free speech. Ms. Dolgin-Kmetz stated that although she was working here in 1998, she was not aware of or in possession of such a memo. She believes that it was discussed and the Board decided to go forward at that time.

Legislator L. Williams asked if there was a mandatory referendum at that time. Ms. Dolgin-Kmetz said there was, and the original law required a mandatory referendum because it curtailed the power of an elected official. Legislator L. Williams asked whether the part of the law providing that a person could not serve a subsequent term was part of the referendum. Ms. Dolgin-Kmetz said it was not required because that part of the law did not take away any power. Legislator Borgia asked for confirmation on the current law, and Ms. Dolgin-Kmetz and Mr. Nonna confirmed that the current law is not subject to mandatory or permissive referendum because it does not meet the requirements.

Legislator Johnson advised that the Working Group's report also discussed the issue of a vacancy in the position of County Executive, and that legislation on this issue should also be considered.

The committee voted on this item for the purposes of a public hearing and will vote on subsequent item number 12416 at a future meeting.

With a motion by Legislator Borgia and seconded by Legislator Barr the item was approved with a vote of 4-0.

RESULT:SIGNED BY COMMITTEE
Mar 9, 2020 7:00 PM  Board of Legislators Regular Meeting

Submitted by COMMITTEES ON LEGISLATION AND APPOINTMENTS.

Ms. Covill and Ms. Walter presented the Resolution and moved its adoption, which motion was carried by the following vote.

RESULT:ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
AYES:Margaret A Cunzio, Jose Alvarado, Nancy Barr, Catherine Borgia, Terry A. Clements, Kitley Covill, Vedat Gashi, Christopher Johnson, Damon Maher, Catherine Parker, Colin Smith, David J. Tubiolo, Ruth Walter, Alfreda Williams, Lyndon Williams, Benjamin Boykin
ABSENT:MaryJane Shimsky
Mar 23, 2020 7:00 PM  Board of Legislators Regular Meeting

Submitted by COMMITTEES ON LEGISLATION AND APPOINTMENTS.

Ms. Shimsky declared the public hearing remain open for written comments for ten (10) days until close of businesss April 2, 2020.

RESULT:PENDING