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Broadalbin town council weighs options for filling an empty seat

Tuesday, September 02, 2014 - Updated: 10:20 AM

By CAROLINE MURRAY

Recorder News Staff

BROADALBIN -- As soon as the town council accepted councilman David Horst's resignation at its Aug. 12 meeting, the race to find a replacement began.

Horst resigned due to health issues effective July 1; however, Supervisor Thomas Christopher reportedly did not receive his letter until July 25, and his resignation was retroactive to the start of the month.

At the meeting, Christopher said there was just one week left for a potential candidate to file for a run for office in November, and that it was too late for an interested candidate to get on a major party line ticket.

The prospective incumbent had seven days to submit an independent petition to the board of elections.

And, so, time started to tick.

According to Sabrina Batcher, Democrat deputy commissioner at the Fulton County Board of Elections, Broadalbin resident Joy Canfield was the only person to turn in an independent party petition with the mandated 81 signatures.

Canfield ran for a seat on the board in 2003, and won. She served as a councilwoman for four years, but has not returned since the end of her term.

"The time is right for me," Canfield said last week. "There is a whole new board and I would like to work with the new board."

Although Canfield is currently running unopposed, Batcher said there is a chance for either a Democrat or a Republican candidate to get on the ballot for the November election.

Batcher said according to a local election law, Broadalbin's Republican and Democratic committees can nominate one person for their party line ticket.

Batcher said the committees have seven days after the Sept. 9 primary to select a candidate and hand in a nomination certificate to the board of elections.

She said there could potentially be three candidates running for Broadalbin's open seat, including the independent ticket, come November.

Canfield said she might try to get on the Republican ticket.

Batcher said it is possible for Canfield to run on both lines, but the Republican Committee would have to nominate her within the seven-day window.

"They are automatically on the ballot if they are nominated," Batcher said.

The elected candidate would have to run again for office in 2016 for a full four-year term, because Horst was re-elected in January 2012, and his four-year term was set to end in December 2015.

The town board has also accepted applications to temporarily fill Horst's old seat until the end of December.

Councilman Larry Ruzycky said the board has received four letters inquiring about the position, and they may select the temporary councilman at this month's meeting.

Ruzycky said initially, the board was going to conduct interviews and hold a special meeting to appoint the prospective candidate.

However, he said the councilmen were not able to notify the public in time and believed the interviews were not necessary.

"Time is short, for one, and there wouldn't have been much more to provide in the interview than what is provided in everybody's letters," he said.

Ruzycky said additionally, not all the councilmen are privy to the applications and the board felt they should not rush the interview process.

He believes the applicants will be reviewed and selected at the September meeting.

"Nothing says we have to appoint anybody any how," he said. "If we decided to do that it would only be from that meeting day to September, October, November and December."

     

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