Public to Have Say in Filling Yorktown Town Board Seat

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Yorktown residents will get a chance to weigh in next week on the vacancy on the Town Board that has existed since January.

The Town Board has scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall on a proposed local law that would allow for a special election to be held within 30 days after a seat becomes empty if the board is unable to reach a consensus on an appointment.

Since Dave Paganelli left the board to assume his new role as elected highway superintendent, the four remaining board members have been at a standstill in finding a replacement. Paganelli’s unexpired four-year term doesn’t end until December 2015.

If the local law were to be approved, it would not go into effect until 2015.

Supervisor Michael Grace has lobbied for the board to make an appointment, but councilmen Nick Bianco and Vishnu Patel have stood firm that voters should decide who the fifth official should be.

A few weeks ago, Grace opposed holding the public hearing, maintaining it would be time consuming and costly and could lead to multiple elections in a short period of time. He was overruled by Bianco, Patel and Councilman Terrence Murphy.

Two members of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, Rosemarie Panio and Aaron Bock, recently urged the board to make an appointment with someone who has served on a decision-making board. However, at the same work session, Lisa McKay, executive director of the Democratic Town Committee, expressed support for the local law, stressing it was a fundamental right of residents to choose their elected representatives.

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