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What you need to know for 07/27/2017

Ed Kosiur appointed to Schenectady City Council

Ed Kosiur appointed to Schenectady City Council

The City Council on Monday night appointed Ed Kosiur to an open seat on the council.
Ed Kosiur appointed to Schenectady City Council
Ed Kosiur thanks the Schenectady Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi for their First Books campaign during a City Council meeting in Schenectady on Monday.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson

The City Council on Monday night appointed Ed Kosiur to an open seat on the council.

The council voted 4-1 to appoint Kosiur. Councilman Vince Riggi voted no and Councilman Carl Erikson was absent.

Kosiur is expected to take office next week.

Councilwoman Leesa Perazzo, in supporting Kosier, cited his history as a volunteer in the community and his experience as a previous City Council member.

She also countered arguments from some during public comment that the city needs new blood, not someone who has been on the council before. She said the council has new members, but history with the council is equally valuable.

“With all that being said, I’m proud to be a Democrat and I’m proud to support Ed Kosiur tonight,” she said.

Riggi argued that the process of appointing someone wasn’t open. All but Riggi on the council are Democrats. Riggi has no party affiliation.

Riggi favored leaving the seat open until this fall’s election to let voters decide.

“We should let the people decide who sits here,” Riggi said.

Kosiur is to take office March 3, a delay that gives him time to wrap up other obligations, officials said.

Kosiur currently oversees Schenectady County’s youth programs and serves on the Schenectady City School District Board of Education. He is also president of the Woodlawn Neighborhood Association.

Councilwoman Margaret King also voted for Kosiur, as did members John Mootooveren and Marion Porterfield.

King accompanied her vote by saying she believes Kosiur “brings very valuable experience” that she feels is needed.

The Democratic City Committee voted earlier this month to recommend Kosiur to the council. A City Council meeting last week indicated support for Kosiur was there, moving the appointment to Monday night.

Kosiur still must win an election in November for a one-year term, then run again next year for a full, four-year term on the council. The seat became vacant after Councilwoman Denise Brucker resigned in January after moving to Niskayuna.

The council had considered not appointing anyone to the empty seat and letting voters decide in November, but the council had been operating with just six active members since well before Brucker’s resignation — after Councilwoman Barbara Blanchard had a stroke in August 2012 — and has come up against several tie votes on controversial issues because of the even-numbered governing body.

Kosiur’s name made the short list for the open seat even before Brucker formally resigned. As a councilman in the early 2000s and a county legislator until 2007, he has been considered a leading contender for the job. Mayor Gary McCarthy openly backed his appointment, calling him an “ideal member” because of his history in politics.

In 2008, Kosiur started a high-paying county job that some argued was tailor-made for him as a consolation prize for losing a run for state Assembly to Republican George Amedore, Jr. The job, which he currently holds, was the county’s first-ever assistant to the commissioner of social services for youth development. He earned about $85,000 last year.

Kosiur was elected to a vacant seat on the Schenectady school board in May 2013. He will have to resign that post to serve on the council.

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