Council OKs items despite concerns

GLOVERSVILLE – The Common Council unanimously voted in favor of three resolutions Tuesday, despite the city attorney advising them to withdraw the resolutions.

The Common Council, mayor and city attorney got into a public dispute during the last meeting about who has authority over certain departments in the city – and the same dispute continued at the meeting Tuesday.

One of the resolutions involved setting a new $250 purchase cap on the Recreation Commission, which will require council approval for any purchase over that amount.

The council also approved a resolution to lower the fee to $1 for students of the Gloversville Enlarged School District using the city Transit System to go to the middle school or high school. The fee was previously $2.

Mayor Dayton King and city Attorney Anthony Casale said since it is the mayor’s duty to oversee the various departments in the city, it would also be his duty to approve any changes to fees or limitations through executive order rather than a resolution by the council.

The council also approved a resolution amending the rules of the Common Council.

City officials said the dispute is the result of an illegal Republican caucus at a prior council meeting.

During that meeting, some council officials said King was trying to sponsor particular legislation outside his authority.

However, the mayor said he doesn’t care to sponsor or directly propose any legislation going forward.

According to the council rules for this year, King is listed as a member of the council.

However, the council unanimously passed a resolution to remove that section of the rules to make it match the city charter.

First Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth said the Rules of the Common Council were never changed to match the charter.

She said now that it has been discovered the rules are inconsistent with the charter, the rules must be changed because the charter supersedes the rules.

The change was made to the charter in 1998 after the Report From the Charter Revision Committee was approved by public referendum. It included a clarification that the mayor is not a member of the Common Council, but presides at all meetings of the council and may still participate in those meetings and vote in cases of a tie.

However, Casale said simply omitting the line about the mayor being a member of the council has left ambiguity within the charter. He said it should have been clearly stated he is not a member of the council rather than removing it altogether.

Casale said the resolutions should have been withdrawn because they were in the “improper form.”

After the meeting, King said he supports all the resolutions that were passed and will draft executive orders for the purchase cap and transit fees, to be certain the city is legally responsible.

Transfer withdrawn

In November, the Common Council unanimously opted to use the $10,000 to fund the Recreation Commission, but the resolution to physically transfer the money hasn’t been approved.

The transfer of the donation from Overlook Ridge Apartments from the general fund to a Recreation Commission account was withdrawn by the council during the meeting.

Wentworth said this morning the council decided to withdraw the transfer of money to make sure the commission comes before the council for any purchase over $250.

“[The city attorney and mayor] have tried to fight against the council having any say for four weeks now,” Wentworth said. “That money will stay in the general fund and when the Recreation Commission wants to spend over $250 they can come to the council and request it.”