Pro­posal calls for dou­bling chairman's term

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

The res­o­lu­tion by Demo­cratic Leg­is­la­tor Chris Allen has an­gered some mem­bers of his own party.

An­ger­ing mem­bers of his own party, a Demo­cratic Ul­ster County leg­is­la­tor has pro­posed the Leg­is­la­ture chairman and clerk be elected by mem­bers ev­ery two years in­stead of annually.

Chris Allen, D-Sauger­ties, sub­mit­ted the pro­posal Tues­day.

“I think ev­ery­body de­serves a chance to prove them­self as chairman or chair­woman for two years ... and ob­vi­ously the same thing holds true for the leg­isla­tive clerk po­si­tion,” Allen said.

The pro­posal means the chairman and clerk would be elected only at the be­gin­ning of each two-year term of the Leg­is­la­ture, rather than once at the be­gin­ning and once at the half­way point.

“I know that there’s been some con­cerns about [hav­ing] a leg­is­la­tor who abuses their power or is in­ef­fec­tive or a poor chairman,”

Allen said, so the leg­is­la­tion al­lows for re­moval of the chairman or clerk by a three-fourths vote of the 23-mem­ber body.

Allen’s pro­posal calls for a Dec. 13 pub­lic hear­ing in ad­vance of a vote by law­mak­ers.

Allen said he spoke to mem­bers of the Leg­is­la­ture’s Repub­li­can ma­jor­ity and that they sup­ported his plan.

“I have a short ‘yes’ from the Repub­li­can cau­cus on this,” he said. “So I have the votes to get this through.”

Leg­is­la­tor David Don­ald­son, D-Kingston, a for­mer chairman of the body, said there is no need to change a pol­icy that has served law­mak­ers well.

“This is one of the most un­ac­cept­able res­o­lu­tions I think I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” he said.

“Peo­ple are pretty re­luc­tant to turn out a chairman,” Don­ald­son said. “It’s never been done that

I know of.”

Leg­is­la­tor John Parete, D-Boiceville, also a for­mer chairman, agreed the body’s lead­ers should be cho­sen annually, and he was no­tice­ably up­set af­ter lis­ten­ing to Allen say he had enough votes for the mea­sure to be ap­proved.

“Well, you’re just pretty slick,” Parete said.

Mi­nor­ity Leader Hec­tor Ro­driguez, D-New Paltz, said the issue should have been dis­cussed be­fore a res­o­lu­tion was sub­mit­ted.

Allen re­sponded by say­ing he doesn’t need per­mis­sion to make pro­pos­als.

Allen

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