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What you need to know for 01/17/2018

Amsterdam town supervisor keeps job, but will still have to run every two years

Amsterdam town supervisor keeps job, but will still have to run every two years

Thomas DiMezza will have to run for office twice as often as he’d like.

Thomas DiMezza will have to run for office twice as often as he’d like.

Town of Amsterdam voters Tuesday turned down his bid to lengthen the Amsterdam town supervisor term from two to four years with a 764-473 vote. DiMezza himself won his seat in an uncontested race with 982 votes, but with the proposal voted down, he’ll have to do the same thing in 2015.

Tuesday marked his third failed attempt to lengthen the supervisor’s term.

“I think a longer term would help with continuity,” he said before election night. “A few other towns in Montgomery County already have four-year terms.”

A few days before polls opened, DiMezza theorized that the previous failures were caused by voter confusion. On the old voting machines, he said the proposition line was hard to see and many people didn’t bother voting on them. Tuesday night, voters filled out a paper ballot, with volunteers pointing out the state and local propositions on the back of the card.

According to unofficial results released late Tuesday night, 1,237 of 1,375 voters made some sort of decision regarding the proposition, with a majority saying no to four-year terms.

Voters in the city of Amsterdam overwhelmingly approved Mayor Ann Thane’s proposed change in budget protocol. Up to this point, the mayor worked with all five members of the Common Council and the controller to pare down funding requests from department heads into a workable budget.

Moving forward, Thane will simply write her own balanced budget and bring it to the board for changes and approval. If the mayor objects to the changes, the council can override her objections by a four-fifths supermajority vote.

Thane said it’s a cleaner system. Given the city’s well-publicized financial problems, she said, a simple budget system is a step in the right direction.

“[The old system] got complicated with seven people voting on everything,” she said.

Amsterdam mayors used to operate under the newly approved system. It was only under the administration of Mayor Joseph Emanuele that things changed — for the worse, in Thane’s opinion. City voters approved a return to the old system 2,022-577, according to unofficial results.

Outside of Montgomery County, Gloversville voters approved a ballot proposition taking ethics committee appointment power from Mayor Dayton King. King won his seat for another term Tuesday night, but moving forward, the City Council will have the power to appoint ethics committee members.

Gloversville used to have an ethics committee, but King disbanded it when he came into office, saying the county ethics committee did a fine job on its own. The council wanted the committee back and voters apparently agreed, though the tally of the vote was not available.

Staff at the Fulton County Board of Elections said Wednesday that all districts approved the proposition by some margin, but there are not yet exact figures.

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