Board tries and fails three times to appoint mayor pro tem
May 23, 2014
The Windsor Town Board made motions to appoint three different board members as mayor pro tem during the board’s May 12 meeting. All three motions failed, leaving the board without an appointed mayor pro tem for the time being.
The resolution before the board was to appoint board member Robert Bishop-Cotner as mayor pro tem for a two-year period, taking over the position from former mayor pro tem and current board member Kristie Melendez.
Board member Myles Baker spoke in support of Bishop-Cotner and said that while he thought Melendez had done a wonderful job, he thought the appointed board member should change every two years.
Bishop-Cotner said he agreed with Baker, and said that the position has always been a two-year term as a matter of checks and balances.
Melendez said after hearing from constituents that wanted her to serve as mayor pro tem again that she couldn’t support Bishop-Cotner’s appointment and asked the board to appoint her to the position instead.
Board members Christian Morgan and Ivan Adams both said they thought both board members were suitable for the position, but said after seeing Melendez in the role for the past two years that she would get their support.
The board failed to pass the resolution to appoint Bishop-Cotner, with board members Baker, Jeremy Rose and Bishop-Cotner supporting the ordinance, and board members Morgan, Melendez, Adams and Mayor John Vazquez voting against it.
Town Attorney Ian McCargar informed the board that to pass the ordinance, it would need a supermajority, or five votes, from the board.
He suggested the board direct staff to prepare a resolution to appoint a different board member for the next meeting, however, if board members felt a sense of urgency, they could amend the agenda to take nominations for a new appointment.
The board amended the agenda to take new nominations, and Bishop-Cotner nominated Melendez for the seat.
Rose said he thought Bishop-Cotner would have been a good choice because he felt the position worked best as a rotating position and said he wouldn’t support a motion to appoint Melendez based on his advocacy for a change in the position.
The motion to appoint Melendez also failed, with board members Morgan, Melendez, Adams and Vazquez in support of the Melendez’ appointment and board member Baker, Rose and Bishop-Cotner voting against it.
Rose then nominated Baker. Bishop-Cotner said he felt Baker would be a good compromise between Melendez and himself.
Melendez said in her time as mayor pro tem, she hadn’t seen Baker attend many of the town events she attended and said that for someone to step into the position because the board can’t compromise wouldn’t be good for the town.
Vazquez said the board was ripping each other apart trying to nominate a mayor pro tem, adding that the board’s agenda had become a “debauchery.”
“I think this is absolutely ridiculous the way this has unfolded in the public light,” Vazquez said.
The board then took a vote to appoint Baker as mayor pro tem, which also failed on a 4-3 vote, with members Morgan, Melendez, Adams and Vazquez voting against the appointment.