Deadlock Possible On Filling Vacancy On County Board

WILL DEMOCRATS STYMIE ACTION?

Deadlock Possible

On Filling Vacancy

On County Board

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Jennifer Mickle

COOPERSTOWN – The county board’s Administration Committee recessed this morning without taking any action on the Democratic nominee to fill state Sen.-elect Peter Oberacker’s District seat.

The committee interviewed Democrat Diane Addesso, the former Worcester town supervisor.

But it decided, since the Admin Committee has a 3-2 Republican majority and has already endorsed Oneonta businesswoman Jennifer Mickle for the job, there was no point in pushing for a vote, said Admin Chair Meg Kennedy, C-Hartwick, Milford and New Lisbon.

The Addesso interview was conducted in executive session, closed to public view, as was Mickle’s interview last week.

The county board is scheduled to vote Wednesday on naming a representative for the towns of Maryland, Worcester, Westford and Decatur.  But with Oberacker’s weighted vote out of the mix, neither Republicans nor Democrats have a majority.

If the board deadlocks, the seat will remain unfilled until the November 2021 election, unless Governor Cuomo calls a special election, said county Democratic Chairman Clark Oliver this morning.  He said it’s rare for a governor to do so.

Do Democrats plan to vote as a block, stymying Mickle’s selection?   “We are a big-tent party of individual thinkers,” said Oliver, but added, “I have not heard directly whether there will be a big push to have Democrats vote for a different candidate.”

However, Admin member Adrienne Martini, D-Oneonta, said at the Zoom meeting,  “Since it’s a mostly Republican district, at this point it seems like the wisest course is to move forward with the nomination as it stands.”

While Republicans do outnumber Democrats in District 6, 1,624-789, if you add total voters, non-Republicans outnumber Republicans 1,832-1,624, putting the GOP at a 208-vote deficit.

The other voters include Conservatives (72), Working Families (11), Green (13), Libertarian (15), Independence (225), non-affiliated (704) and “other” (3).

The dean of the Democrats, Andrew Marietta, D-Coopertown/Otsego, said he wasn’t sure what will happen Wednesday.  “I think it was very helpful that Meg called a second Admin meeting,” he added.

He pointed out that even if Mickle is blocked, there’s no way the Democrats could even put Addesso’s name in nomination, since – without Admin approval – that would take a two-thirds vote.  Nonetheless, he said he expects the Democrats to vote as a bloc.

The Libertarian who threw his hat in the ring, Andrew Hamill, Town of Maryland, could not be reached in time to be interviewed by Admin this morning, Kennedy said.


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