Shawn M. Morse
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City of Cohoes
97 Mohawk Street
Cohoes, NY 12047

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COMMON COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 7:20 P.M.

Re-Organizational Meeting

Common Council Chambers

 

Called to order at 7:55 PM

 

PRESENT:      Mayor Morse                                      EXCUSED:     NONE

Council Member Smith                                 

Council Member Russell

Council Member Briggs

Council Member McCarthy

Council Member Napier

Council Member Koniowka

 

In accordance with §C3-3 of the City Charter, an Organization Meeting was held for the purpose of electing a President and Vice President of the Common Council for the year 2018.

 

Prior to the start, Council Member Napier read the following statement:  “ Eight weeks ago when we gathered in this room to elect a New council President we failed to do so because the membership of this body was hopelessly deadlocked with three votes for me and three votes for Council President Briggs.  At that time the Mayor ruled with the support of the Corporation Counsel that under Public Officers Law in the event of a tied vote the Council President would remain in office.  I could accept losing an election.  What I could not accept was the fact that one member of this body required only three votes to effectively win re-election to the Council Presidency while anyone else required four.  That inequity struck me as inherently undemocratic.  In the days following that meeting I did my due diligence and discovered that any opportunity to have this process reviewed by a higher authority would first require that I file suit against the City of Cohoes.  My public service is not about me though.  Such a lawsuit, in my opinion, is not in the best interest of our City at this time.  For that reason I have chosen to put the interest of the City and constituents I represent ahead of my own desires.  I will not sue the City of Cohoes.  I will not challenge the opinion of the Corporation Counsel.  Having discussed the situation at length with Mr. Briggs I believe that we are in agreement that this along with other issues in our charter need to be addressed.  I believe that we have come to an agreement on how to begin the process of correcting those issues and that we will have more to announce on that front in the coming weeks.  While the underlying issues of the tied vote have not yet been addressed, in the interest of healing this body for the good of the City of Cohoes, and in the interest of moving forward in a productive manner on the work of the City, this evening I will not accept the nomination of my colleagues for the position of Council President.  Further, this evening I will cast my vote for Mr. Briggs for the position of Council President not because the issues we face have been resolved but because to move forward someone had to stand aside and for the good of my City I will be the one to do it.”

 

Mayor Morse opened the floor for nominations for Common Council President.

 

Council Member Russell nominated Council President Briggs.  Council Member Smith seconded the nomination.

 

No other nominations were made.

 

A roll call vote was taken to elect Council President Briggs to serve as President:

 

Council President Briggs voted “AYE”

Council Member Smith voted “AYE”

Council Member Russell voted “AYE”

Council Member McCarthy voted “AYE”

Council Member Napier voted “AYE”

Council Member Koniowka voted “NAY”

 

Council President Briggs will serve as Council President for the year 2018.

 

Mayor Morse opened the floor for nominations for Common Council Vice President.

 

Council President Briggs nominated Council Member Smith for Vice President.  Council Member Russell seconded the motion. 

 

No other nominations were made.

 

A roll call vote was taken for Council Member Smith to serve as Vice President:

 

Council President Briggs voted “AYE”

Council Member Smith voted “AYE”

Council Member Russell voted “AYE”

Council Member McCarthy voted “AYE”

Council Member Napier voted “AYE”

Council Member Koniowka voted “AYE”

 

Council Member Smith will serve as Council Vice President for the year 2018.

 

Mayor Morse, “I will tell you that a vote for Chris Briggs is not a vote for domestic violence.  It is probably one of the most disgusting things I have ever heard.  It is cowardly and it has no place at this Council and no place in this City.  A vote for Chris Briggs is a vote for one of the most gentlemen you will ever meet in your life.  A man who dedicate every hour that he can to the betterment of this City.  He is a father, and a husband.  There is nothing he has ever done in his life to promote domestic violence.  I want to make this clear today because I was sickened by that comment.”

 

With no further business to come before the Common Council, at 8:05 PM, Council Member Russell made a motion to adjourn.  Seconded by Council Member Smith.  All members voted “AYE” the Re-Organization Meeting was adjourned.

 

 

                                                                                                                                               

                                                                        ___________________________

                                                                            Lori A. Yando, City Clerk






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