Committee Gets County Elections Commissioner Nomination

Rockland legislator wants state law amended to allow less than 180 school days in situations with “extraordinary weather conditions.”


The Rockland County Legislature’s Multi Services Committee votes Tuesday night on approving Kristen Stavisky as the next Democratic county elections commissioner.  If approved by the legislative committee members, the nomination of Stavisky, who serves as the chair of the Rockland County Democratic Committee, will go before the full legislature at its Tuesday, Dec. 18 meeting.

Legislative Chair Harriet Cornell (D-West Nyack) said the state set up the board of elections as a bipartisan entity with one Democratic and one Republican commissioner. She said it is not uncommon for commissioners to have prominent roles in their parties and does not view the appointment as creating a conflict of interest.

“Many, many of the counties throughout the state have party chairs serving as election commissioner,” she said.  

Stavisky would replace the current Democratic Elections Commissioner Ann Marie Kelly, who is retiring on December 31.  The annual salary would remain the same as this year at $86,901.  Stavisky, a West Nyack resident, would begin her four-year term on Jan. 1, 2013. 

The Multi Services Committee will take up a resolution proposed by Legislator John Murphy (R-Orangeburg) to amend state education law to permit fewer than 180 school days in extraordinary circumstances.  Murphy’s resolution asks the state assembly to act on a proposed legislation introduced last month. It would allow state aid payments to school districts in the 2012-2103 school year even if they did not meet the required 180 days of classes.

The proposal would allow the exception “due to extraordinary weather conditions, disasters or emergencies.” Murphy noted there is precedent since the state legislature passed a law covering upstate school districts affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.

The proposed new section of law would allow schools to receive aid even if they were closed up to 10 days because of “a duly declared state of emergency following a federally and state recognized natural disaster.”  The resolution would certification of the district’s closure by the school superintendent

In addition to Multi Services at 6 p.m. the following legislative committees meet Tuesday: Public Safety at 5:30, Planning & Public Works at 7 p.m. and Budget & Finance at 7:15 p.m.

Watchdog December 11, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Is Cornell being up front? After all, her family also feeds at the public trough with her son Keith appointed Deputy Town Attorney by Gromack who said he searched and searched and found Keith, son of Harriet, as the best man for the job. Sound familiar? "Rockland Republican Party Chairman Vincent Reda had his turn as an election commissioner in 2001, appointed in February of that year and quitting the job that April. He told The Journal News that is wasn’t possible to “serve two masters” and that he decided to step aside."
Watchdog December 11, 2012 at 02:15 PM
From same JN. article. Hmmmmm. "The process that led to Stavisky obtaining the party’s backing for the elections post has been called into question. Steven Alpert is an elected member of both the Suffern village and the Ramapo town Democratic Committees. He said he received notice of the 5:30 p.m. Nov. 26 convention in which Stavisky would receive the party’s backing on Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving. “It was deliberately done to reduce the head count, which is clearly not a very Democratic thing to do,” Alpert said. He said more advanced notice should have been given so other candidates could have been suggested. On Monday, Alpert said he remained concerned about the ability of the chairwoman of the county party to also be an election commissioner. “How can someone be both partial and impartial at the same time?” Alpert questioned."
Watchdog December 11, 2012 at 02:16 PM
The FIX was in.
Watchdog December 11, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Was Kelly booted out to make way for Princess Kristen?
Lynn Teger December 12, 2012 at 02:54 PM
N.Y. Election Law 3-200 - Boards of elections; creation, qualifications of commissioners, removal " 4. No person shall be appointed as election commissioner or continue to hold office who is not a registered voter in the county and not an enrolled member of the party recommending his appointment, OR WHO HOLDS ANY OTHER PUBLIC OFFICE, except that of commissioner of deeds, notary public, village officer, city or town justice, member of a community board within the city of New York or trustee or officer of a school district outside of a city." http://www.lawserver.com/law/state/new-york/ny-laws/ny_election_law_3-200


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