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What you need to know for 01/20/2017

Kosiur backed for Schenectady council

Kosiur backed for Schenectady council

Ed Kosiur is poised to be appointed to the City Council.
Kosiur backed for Schenectady council
Schenectady School Board member Ed Kosiur, second from left, has gained support for a seat on the Schenectady City Council..

Ed Kosiur is poised to be appointed to the City Council.

The Democratic City Committee voted Saturday to recommend him to the council on the strengths of his community involvement and his plans to improve the city.

“He’s got a lot of projects in mind,” said committee Chairman Richard Naylor.

But the council has not yet decided how, or even whether, to fill the vacant seat.

The council did not even begin discussing the appointment at its committees meeting Monday. Council President Margaret King postponed the matter for two weeks without discussion.

The seat was vacated last month by Councilwoman Denise Brucker. She resigned because she moved to Niskayuna.

Her decision came just two weeks after another empty seat on the council was finally filled after 16 months.

The council has operated with just six members since Councilwoman Barbara Blanchard was stricken by a stroke. She was able to return to her seat only briefly on the last meeting of her term in December.

But since she never resigned, the seat had to stay empty until the end of her term. Councilman John Mootooveren was elected to replace her and took his seat in January.

With just six members for so long, the council hit problems with tie votes on some controversial issues. Those opposed to an issue had to get just three votes to stop it; legislation passed only if at least four of the six members voted for it.

On occasion, the council split into three-member factions, each group maneuvering and negotiating to get that precious fourth vote for the legislation they wanted.

Councilwoman Leesa Perazzo doesn’t want that to continue. But Councilman Vince Riggi, the only non-Democrat on the council, has already proposed leaving the seat vacant.

If the council does not vote to appoint someone to the seat, it will stay empty until the November election.

Naylor wants the council to put Kosiur in quickly.

“We need somebody to get in there and do the work,” he said. “The seat has been vacant for how long?”

The committee also voted to nominate county Legislator Robert Hoffman for the city judgeship that will be on the November ballot. Whoever wins the judgeship will become the fourth city judge, a position just created by the state. The judgeship begins Jan. 1.

Hoffman will run for election with Kosiur, whether or not Kosiur is appointed to the council before that point. Kosiur would have to win the November election for a one-year term and run again next year for a full, four-year term to the council.

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