HOOSICK, N.Y. -- An empty town board seat remained unfilled through an organizational meeting in Hoosick last week.
Following Louis Schmigel’s election to a partial term as highway superintendent, the former councilman resigned from the five-member town board last month. Under state law, a successor will be appointed by the remaining board to fill the term until the next election cycle. While the vacancy has not been advertised, individual board members have personally solicited for interest.
Among a slate of organizational resolutions for 2013, the appointments included some changes to personnel last Monday, Jan. 14. Replacing previous town attorney Debra Young, who won a seat as Rensselaer County Court Judge in November, town officials picked Joanne P. Monagan of the Troy law firm Bartle, McGrane, Duffy & Jones.
The appointment appeared to surprise at least one board member, who asked to table the decision so that town officials could meet her in person. "I haven’t met her yet," Mark Surdam said.
Board member Bruce Patire said he had a lengthy phone conversation with the prospective appointment, and board member Jeff Wysocki echoed that, saying he had spoken to her by phone earlier that day.
Town Supervisor Keith Cipperly said he was more than confident in her ability, adding that Monagan came recommended by Young. The appointment passed by a 3-1 vote with Surdam in the minority.
Monagan has worked at her current law firm since 2010. Before that she served as a principal court attorney in the Rensselaer County Family Court and state Supreme Court systems. She graduated from Albany Law School of Union University in 1989 and passed the New York bar exam in 1990.
Meanwhile, a familiar name was appointed to the position of building inspector/code enforcement officer after a previous change in staffing did not pan out. After resigning in December 2011 shortly after winning a term as Pittstown town supervisor, Edwin King stepped back into the role beginning around June 2012. He was re-appointed on an interim basis for 2013 on Monday.
Contacted late last week, King said he originally resigned after wanting to have more time to put toward his added responsibilities in Pittstown. King said Friday he was now confident he could juggle the positions, although to his understanding the appointment comes as a temporary one. King said he had functioned in a building inspector capacity for the past decade; between Pittstown and Hoosick for approximately the past four years.
Wysocki was tapped as deputy supervisor to run meetings in the absence of Cipperly.