NEW HARTFORD — The town board recently voted to table a public hearing on a local law that would have added two members to the Police Commission.
This was done so the intricacies of the law could be written out at the behest of Third Ward Councilor Dave Reynolds.
“How are the other two selected?” Reynolds questioned.
The commission currently has five members. Almost all town boards, committees and commissions have seven members, with the exception of the town board — which has five — and the newly formed Climate Smart Community Task Force — which will have the required 10 members.
Under the current five-member commission, each town councilor — and the town supervisor — each select a member of the commission. The commission members are expected to be from the general public and not politically minded.
“I have no problem raising it to seven as long as it follows the format that exists,” Reynolds prior to the meeting.
The commission currently is made up of Town Councilor Jim Messa, Patrick Cardinale, Richard Pratt, Peter Acquaviva and Charles Sadallah. Cardinale is chairman.
The inclusion of Messa on the commission is an issue that Reynolds took polite issue with. Reynolds does not think the commission should in any way be political, something that would preclude Messa from being a member.
“Jim’s doing a great job,” Reynolds said, noting his issue is having a political person on the commission, not the job that Messa is doing on it. “He represents the town and his constituents.”
Messa took no offense to Reynolds objection, stating that the way the way the town law currently is worded it allows for a town board member to be on the commission — something that was noted by the town attorney. Messa said he had no issue stepping down from the commission and only took the position so that his ward would be represented.
“Me being on the commission is for all the right reasons,” Messa said, adding that the position always was meant to be temporary.
The town board did not say when they would revisit the proposed local law.
Contact reporter Ed Harris at 315-792-5063 or follow him on Twitter (@OD_EHarris).