Schenectady County

Princetown Town Board hopes for harmonious year

The Princetown Town Board has a New Year’s resolution, and it’s to work together.

The Princetown Town Board has a New Year’s resolution, and it’s to work together.

After a strained election season, the town government has remained tense even as the board prepares to turn over a new leaf with new administration with the start of 2016 today.

Town Supervisor Mike Joyce will pass the position on to Bob Myers, who has served as a council member for the past 12 years.

Louis Esposito was re-elected to the board for another term, while Susan Shafer will replace Councilman Joseph Jurczynski to join Councilman Douglas Grey.

There is no replacement yet to fill Myers’ vacant board seat.

“We’ve been looking at different people, but we haven’t made up our mind yet,” Esposito said Wednesday. “The decision will have to be approved by the Town Board in the coming year. Names might be discussed at the reorganizational meeting.”

The members will be sworn in to their new positions in a short ceremony at Town Hall today, but because of some procedural disagreements, Myers said the reorganizational meeting will occur at an undetermined date in the near future.

A date for the organizational meeting was not set or even discussed by the Town Board at its last Dec. 15 session.

“To be honest, we had so many other things going on at our last meeting, we didn’t think anything about it, and no one ever said anything about a resolution to discuss it,” Myers said Wednesday. “I haven’t been a supervisor, so a lot is new to me here and it just didn’t occur to me.”

“Our attorney should have reminded us of this,” Esposito said of Princetown Town Attorney Michael Cuevas. “That’s what he’s supposed to do and didn’t, so when we tried to have the town clerk notify The Gazette, we received an email from him saying we didn’t pass a resolution setting the date, so we had to take other avenues.”

Two members of the board can call a meeting with 72 hours notice posted at Town Hall, or it can be called by the town supervisor.

“I knew they were trying to call a meeting, but no one called me and asked for my help,” Joyce said. “If they would have, I absolutely would have called for the reorganizational meeting. This is about the town, and this meeting is important as it sets the staff in funding for those additions for the year.

“Seeing as I wouldn’t be here for the organizational meeting, I didn’t feel it was my job to put the resolution on the agenda,” he added.

Myers said Joyce and Cuevas still haven’t made the process easy, and didn’t call to offer help or information to get the meeting scheduled.

“They’re still trying to convince their supporters not to work with us and stall the reorganization,” Myers said. “They’re still trying to throw monkey wrenches in the works.”

Esposito said when the reorganization takes place, a new town attorney will be appointed. That meeting will take place at the beginning of this month, he said, before the next regular board session Jan. 12.

Joyce said he also offered to have a transition meeting with Myers several times to discuss ongoing issues in the town before he is sworn in, but the offer fell on deaf ears.

“It’s important for myself and the residents to know where we’re ending, and it’s important for the new team to understand where they’re picking up from,” Joyce said.

On Tuesday evening, Joyce sent a letter to Myers with a final offer to meet and aid in his transition to the office of the supervisor to review issues he felt were important to address, but Myers declined.

In the letter, Joyce listed the issues he wished to go over with Myers, including fire protection districts, solar power and a contract with the Animal Protective Foundation.

“Being on the board for 12 years, this is stuff I already know about,” Myers said Wednesday. “Why Joyce is concerning himself with this is beyond me … They’ve done nothing but make a mess for us, have been downright nasty to us and we’re tired of it. That’s why I have no room for time for their nonsense.”

He said the behavior hasn’t surprised him.

“They’ve been sore losers ever since the election, and still haven’t congratulated us for winning,” Myers said. “I don’t mean to sound unkind to them, but they lost and we won, so let us do what we need to do and leave us alone.”

“It’s that simple,” he continued. “We’ll take care of things from here and move forward.”

The incoming supervisor said he won’t let that behavior and tension continue in the Town Board once he assumes the leadership role in Princetown.

“We’d like to get away from this animosity, bitterness and anger,” Myers said of the board. “One of our goals is to try to unite our town back together. It might not be easy, but that’s still our goal, and we look forward to working together with everyone.”

Reach Gazette reporter Kate Seckinger at 395-3113, [email protected] or @KateSeckinger on Twitter.

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