The Northern Westchester Examiner

Somers Town Board Considers Four-Year Supervisor Term

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Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy
Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy

Concerned that the current two-year term does not leave enough time for governing, the Somers Town Board is considering doubling the supervisor’s term.

At its July 12 meeting, the board voted unanimously to schedule a public hearing on the issue on Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

The board could put the issue on this November’s Election Day ballot. If the voters approve a referendum this fall, the election of the first four-year supervisor would take place in November 2013.

In 2002, the town board extended the term of the highway superintendent from two to four years.

The discussion was motivated by a request from Councilman Richard Benedict, who did not attend last week’s meeting.

Town board members said last week the issue of extending the supervisor’s term was worth exploring because too much of the supervisor’s time is taken up running for reelection every other year.

Councilman Richard Clinchy said the elected officials from all levels of government have told him that running every two years takes away time from performing their duties.

“I don’t think you can make progress if you don’t have stability,” Clinchy said.

Councilman Thomas Garrity Jr. said 2012 would be an appropriate year for a ballot referendum on the issue of extending the supervisor’s term. It would be a “pretty good time” for the ballot initiative because of the high turnout expected in a presidential election year, he said.

Clinchy asked if any other towns in the area had supervisors with four-year terms. Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy said Patterson has a supervisor who serves for four years, but she was not aware of any Westchester towns with four-year terms.

The four-year term concept should be seriously considered in the town, Clinchy said. “The question is, does it result in better government?” he said.

The four town board seats other than the supervisor’s post in Somers have four-year terms.

Film fee donation

Also at the July 12 meeting, the town board accepted $500 from Mancini Realty to pay the filming fee for the independent movie, “A Birder’s Guide to Everything.”

Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley is starring in the film. According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), the movie is a comedy slated for release next year.

The film is being directed and co-written by Rob Mayer. It is scheduled to begin shooting for five days in Somers beginning later this month. The shooting would take place over the course of five weekdays between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., beginning July 23. The movie is slated to be shot on July 23 and 24 on Route 100; on July 30 at the Muscoot River; and on Aug. 1 and 2 or Aug. 2 and 3 at Somers High School, according to Kara Janeczko, the film’s location manager.

Murphy said Police Chief Michael Driscoll provided Mayer with a tour of the town earlier in the day.

At last week’s meeting, Murphy thanked Mancini Realty for its donation. The film shoot would “keep Somers on the map,” she said.

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