The New Castle Town Board approved the appointment of Chris Hildenbrand to fill the vacant board seat last week after one of the victorious candidates in November’s election moved out of town.
As expected, the board replaced Andrea Sanseverino Galan with Hildenbrand, who began campaigning with the New Castle United by early September when it was known that Sanseverino Galan would be unable to serve if elected. The board also accepted an affidavit from her last week.
“I really look forward to working with all of you, this whole board,” Hildenbrand said. “So I’m really looking forward to it. I think we can do a lot of great things together.”
Councilman Jeremy Saland asked the remainder of the board to instead consider former councilwoman, Lori Morton, who finished third in the general election in the council race. Hildenbrand was not a formal candidate or even a write-in candidate, he said.
“I think the way transparency works, the way government works, especially in light of the fact that this was one of the things that was run on, is you appoint the person who actually ran and the person who has demonstrated a long-term commitment,” Saland said.
In 2019, the remaining members of the board appointed Lauren Levin after Ivy Pool won the supervisor’s race and vacated her council seat for the final two years of that term. Levin had finished third that year in the council race.
However, Supervisor Lisa Katz said the situation this year wasn’t comparable and that there isn’t any regulation mandating the runner-up be appointed.
“In prior instances, we did agree to do that because no one else ran at the time, and instead of appointing someone nobody knew, we appointed the next highest vote-getter,” Katz said. “However, it was always intended that Chris would take Andrea’s spot, he was on all the campaign material, spoke to residents, knocked on doors.”
There will be a special election in November for the remaining three years of Sanseverino Galan’s term.