PLATTSBURGH — The controversial Plattsburgh Town Council election saga took another turn Monday night.
The council unanimously appointed former Councilor Gerard Renadette to the seat, passing over Republican candidates Tom Metz and Bill Brudvig, who tied for the post when absentee ballots were counted last week.
The decision came after a lengthy legal challenge that, until then, had prevented the counting of the absentee ballots from last fall’s election.
The tie meant the Clinton County Board of Elections was not able to declare either man the winner and gave the Town Council the right to leave the seat vacant or appoint someone to fill it.
‘BEST INTEREST OF TOWN’
Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett said the council spent a lot of time on the decision.
“We came to the conclusion it was in the best interest of the town to fill the position rather than leave it vacant,” he said.
Bassett said Renadette, an independent, was chosen rather than either of the two candidates who finished second in the election to not create the appearance of giving either the advantage as an incumbent in the special election this fall to fill the final three years of the term.
“It’s important we let the people make their decision in the fall,” he said, adding it was not a partisan decision.
‘DIDN’T MAKE SENSE’
Renadette said the only reason he considered accepting the appointment was because he will not seek re-election next fall.
Clinton County Republican Party Chairman Don Lee said that while he has nothing against Renadette, he believes either Metz or Brudvig should have been appointed to the seat.
“We think the people stated who they wanted in the election,” he said.
Lee said the two candidates could have decided which one would get the seat through a coin flip or some other method.