Council, mayor at impasse on positions

GLOVERSVILLE – The Common Council and the mayor still find themselves in a stalemate over filling vacant positions on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

At the organizational meeting earlier this month, Mayor Dayton King had planned not to reappoint zoning board Chairwoman Karen Smith.

However, 6th Ward Councilman Wrandy Siarkowski said he would not make a motion, second a motion or consider voting in favor of another person for the board until Smith was reappointed.

The appointments to the board are made by the mayor, but they need to be approved by the council.

Some council members said given Smith’s years of experience on the board, they did not understand why King would not want her to stay on the board.

Smith is president of the Gloversville Republican Committee and Siarkowski is a member. The Committee announced its endorsement of Michael Ponticello before the primary election, which he lost to King.

However, King alleged the council has become “political” and are attempting to keep those that are affiliated with them on the various boards.

King also said he believes Smith does a good job, but he wants to see if other people are interested in the position. King said he feels having the same people on the same boards prevents the city from moving forward.

During the council meeting Tuesday, King attempted to reappoint David Strausser to the zoning board, but the council voted down the appointment, 4-2. Second Ward Councilman Arthur Simonds and Councilman-At-Large Jim Robinson voted in favor of the appointment; 1st Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth, 4th Ward Councilwoman Ellen Anadio, Fifth Ward Councilman Jay Zarrelli and Siarkowski voted against it. Third Ward Councilman Stephen Mahoney was not in attendance.

“I believe Karen Smith should be reappointed before [Strausser] is,” Siarkowski said. “She has the experience and is an asset to the city and I’m still upset she isn’t being appointed to this position.”

The Zoning Board of Appeals is a five-member board with usually one alternate.

However, with the current gridlock over who will fill the vacant positions it currently has only three members, which is just enough for a quorum.

“I anticipate having some private meetings before the next public meeting so that we can come to a resolution, but I will be aggressively pursuing each member of the council,” King said.