Alma Town Supervisor Ron Staedt released a statement recently announcing his appointment of Shaun Taylor as Deputy Supervisor. The appointment came as a surprise to the remaining board members and candidates for the upcoming election. Taylor will replace Vinny Bock, who recently retired from board and that position after three years of service.
Staedt had this to say about Taylor after releasing the news:
“Shaun will bring his perspective to our board. He is willing to do hard things that will make our town better for all taxpayers. He has may years of serving others through the fire service.”
The politics in Alma NY are complicated for a town of hundreds: Taylors new job will be short lived with an election this November. Especially if he wins the election for Town Supervisor against incumbent, Ron Staedt. Yes you read that right, newly appointed Taylor will be running against Staedt, who just appointed him, in the November 2nd election.
That irony doesn’t seem to impact the attitude of Taylor in his reaction to being appointed by Staedt:
“I’ve lived in the town of Alma my entire life, it’s no secret how strongly I feel about this town and the people who reside here. The opportunity presented itself for me to do my part in helping to restore the towns image and of course I said yes immediately. It is my belief with a town board willing to work as a cohesive unit we can quickly get back on tract of moving forward with a brighter future that the tax payers deserve. It is also my belief that we can restore the working relationship with our town highway department and go forward with the best interest of the town at hand. I look forward to working hard along with my fellow board members to continue on an upward trend no matter how short the remainder of this term.“
That reaction was not as positive among other board members, who had no prior knowledge of the appointment until the Wellsville Sun asked for a reaction to the news. Town board member Steve Dickerson and former Town Deputy Clerk Heather Trask issued this joint statement:
“Wellsville Sun is a great media source for local news in our area BUT I feel this is NOT the way a Town Supervisor should notify a Town Board. The Town Supervisor can appoint his own deputy (town law 42) but that still doesn’t resolve the big issue here! This now leaves a vacant Councilman position where it is the Town Board’s authority to fill (town law 64).
This announcement just seems to be another added issue among many others done behind the backs of the Town Board. And using the word “retiring”? Must be “resigning” would hurt the reputation of the elected official that was supposed to serve to benefit the citizens of the Town of Alma.”
Dickerson is running for Town Supervisor in the November elections against both Staedt and Taylor. Trask is running for Town Clerk in the same November 2nd election.
Paula Clayson has been involved in Alma town politics for several years and is running for Town Justice in the November Election. She had this to say about the appointment of Taylor as Deputy Supervisor:
“Upon learning that an unexpected vacancy on the town board was being filled, I discovered that Alma is being given an opportunity to see all candidates for town supervisor at work before the election. This is a golden opportunity for the community to see how our town board may look in the not too distant future. It may also make Alma more appealing to a potential insurer seeing that we will have a board that offers stability and holds the interests of the taxpayers in high regard.
The appointment of the new deputy supervisor may have some snags though. While it is true that the town supervisor may appoint anyone of his choosing as deputy as per Town Law 42, the vacancy that was announced is that of a councilman and Town Law 64, Article 4 (5) requires that vacancy to be filled by the board or a majority. This is something that the town board will have to discuss with the town attorney to ensure that all laws are being followed as written and not loosely interpreted.
I wish our board members the best and look forward to the model we are being presented with at work.
Town Law 42 states “Any person, including a town officer, official or employee, may be appointed deputy supervisor, provided that the person appointed shall possess the same qualifications as an elective town officer”
Town Law 62, Article 4 (5) Vacancies: Whenever a vacancy shall occur or exist in any town office, the town board or a majority of the members thereof, may appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy.”