October 30, 2012

Dissolution would overlap elected terms


---- — MALONE — If a referendum to dissolve the Village of Malone is approved Nov. 6, existing Town Council members may not be in office during the entire two-year transition.

Village government would be dissolved as of Dec. 31, 2014, if voters approve a referendum on Election Day, and the responsibility of government would fall to the Malone Town Council.

Its members would decide how to merge the two governments and their staffs and make decisions about road and street maintenance, internal policies and procedures, union contracts, zoning and building codes, police protection and more.

But all of the seated elected officials may not be in office by then, and any new Town Council members seated in January 2014 are not obligated to follow plans their predecessors develop.

The terms of Town Supervisor Howard Maneely, Highway Superintendent Tom Shanty and Town Council members Jack Sullivan and Mary Scharf are up for election in the fall of 2013.


Maneely said he is undecided about whether he will seek re-election.

“I guess it will depend which way the dissolution vote goes. If the village dissolves, I don’t know who would want this job,” he said, laughing.

Maneely, 77, was elected in the fall of 1997 and took office in January 1998. He was sworn in while standing by a wood stove in the town highway garage as Ice Storm ‘98 raged outside.

Dissolution “is a bigger storm than that,” he said with a laugh.


Scharf said she will seek re-election.

“I will definitely run. But, of course, you have to go through a caucus first,” she said.

“I’d like to run for a second term because I just learned how to do it,” laughed Scharf, who is 61. “It takes a lot of time to learn about a budget.”


Sullivan, 70, said he isn’t sure if he will run for another term.

“It’s a little too early to decide,” he said. “I don’t really know. But I don’t think dissolution is going to pass. I think it’s going to be voted down big time.”

Shanty, 55, said his re-election decision is several months away, but “as it stands right now,” he will run again in 2013.


The terms of Town Council members Paul Walbridge and Louise Taylor are not up for re-election until the fall of 2015.

But Walbridge said he may be town supervisor instead of a council member next year. He intends to run for that office next year, as the seat Maneely occupies comes up for re-election next November.

“I haven’t talked to Howard about it yet to see if he’s running, but he’s been in there for 16 years,” Walbridge said. “If he decides to run, then I guess we’d run against each other. I said when I got in office I’d give it 16 years, and my last few years might be as a supervisor.”

Walbridge, 52, says he can retire in three years from the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

But if he were elected supervisor, he would reduce his work week at Bare Hill Correctional Facility and spend five mornings a week at the Town Office, he said.

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This is another article in a series concerning the possible dissolution of the Village of Malone, which goes before voters on Nov. 6.