Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Police Chief Referendum Question Not Settled

Sandra Russo-Driska told The Eye this morning that she has asked for a legal opinion before she alters the ballots for the November 8th election.

The 16,000 already-printed ballots include a question to voters over whether the nomination of Deputy Chief Patrick McMahon to be Chief of Police should be confirmed. Mayor Giuliano yesterday withdrew this nomination.

Russo-Driska said that the Secretary of State's Office informed her that since this was purely a local matter, the city could make its own decision. However, after considering overnight, she felt that this was not a decision she could make unilaterally, because the charter does not address this situation.

"I've asked the Mayor and City Attorney for a legal opinion, in writing, instructing me what to do. Until then, I'm not crossing it out."

McMahon has threatened legal action to keep the referendum question on the ballot, and Russo-Driska suggested that it might be safer to leave the ballots unaltered, until the legal situation is clearly resolved. She pointed out that if the referendum question is later declared invalid, the votes could simply not be counted.


Anonymous said...

To read about criminal conduct be the Middletown police, please begin with a search for "New police weapon against homeless" on homeless forums. I go to court tomorrow. Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...

That is good. It seems suspect that she would just take a sharpie to our official ballots. I'd rather see it there and find out the votes didn't count than not give the voters the chance at all.

Anonymous said...

What is the exact language of the referendum question? And can a voter referendum on a personnel matter be binding? Or is the question simply to instruct the Common Council to act favorable on the Mayor's (now void) recommendation?

Anonymous said...

Damn !! I was hoping Seb and Sandra were gonna get arrested.