City officials are preparing for a showdown at the Common Council’s meeting Tuesday as the two new voting factions back separate candidates for the vacant 5th Ward seat.
Councilman-at-large James Robinson filed a resolution Friday seeking support for the appointment of Republican Jay Zarrelli, a three-time candidate for the ward’s supervisor position. Robinson is expected to be joined by councilmen John Castiglione, R-2nd Ward, and Dirk Myers, R-3rd Ward.
Councilman Ray Hindes, D-6th Ward, was not taking phone calls Friday, but Mayor Dayton King said he has been informed that Hindes will seek to appoint his half-brother, retired Gloversville High School teacher and coach Robert Fisher, a Republican.
Hindes’ allies on the council, councilwomen Robin Wentworth, D-1st Ward, and Ellen Anadio, R-4th Ward, could not be reached Friday, but city officials said they expect they will join in support of Fisher. This voting bloc is already referred to by posters on the city message board as “WAH.”
King said he is anticipating the need to invoke the City Charter provision giving him a tie-breaking vote — in favor of Zarrelli.
The new council voting blocs emerged at the organizational meeting when Myers’ appointment to the 3rd Ward vacancy was contested.
The friction continued Thursday night when Wentworth, Anadio and Hindes failed to attend the special meeting called by King to review planned layoffs and new revenue proposals.
King and Castiglione both said Friday they consider the absences deliberate, although Wentworth and Anadio have said they notified officials of prior commitments.
Though they could not be reached Friday, a family member of Hindes said Friday he was too ill to take a phone call.
“I find it hard to believe that all three of them decide not to show up at the same time,” Castiglione said.
King said the absences were obviously planned, but he said he has no idea why the three took the action. “I wish I knew,” he said, asserting that he will respond by reaching out to the three officials. “ ‘Maybe we got off on the wrong foot,’ ” he said he will tell them.
King said he is hopeful he and the council may yet “work as a team to move the city forward.”
King said he expects he and the council will have the opportunity Tuesday to review the job cut and revenue plans.
Though the council voted last month to eliminate eight and a half positions, King said he has discovered since taking office that some of the jobs are protected, either by civil service law or in the case of the animal control officer by agriculture and markets law.
He reiterated Friday that he is confident that revised fees for apartment inspections and enforcement of blight laws may compensate for preserving some positions.
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Categories: Schenectady County