By Connor Beach
Months after shooting down the prospect, the Huntington Town Board voted unanimouslyto schedule a public hearing on Councilman Eugene Cook’s proposal to establish term limits.
Cook said he wants to enact term limits for each of the town’s elected officials: supervisor, council members, town clerk, receiver of taxes and superintendent of highways. He’s calling for officials to serve no longer than three consecutive four-year terms in the same office.
“The new board coming in was going to do that also; I checked with Chad Lupinacci, the supervisor-elect, the day I put that in there, and he said go with three four-year terms, so I was all for that,” Cook said.
Cook previously introduced a similar resolution in August, but the vote to schedule a public hearing failed, 3-2, with Cook and Councilwoman Tracey Edwards voting in favor. Supervisor Frank Petrone, Councilman Mark Cuthbertson and Councilwoman Susan Berland each voted down the proposal to schedule a hearing.
The now-approved public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at town hall.
Cook said that after speaking with his colleagues, he felt they’d become more receptive to the idea of term limits.
“I think the board will listen to what people say and have their opinions, and we’ll see what happens,” Cook said. “I think term limits are extremely important, and it shouldn’t be a big deal to do the right thing for the people.”
Petrone said Cook’s newest term limits resolution conforms to county standards.
“A long time ago, I was not in favor of term limits,” Petrone said. “I’ve moved since, with the idea that term limits bring movement.”
Cuthbertson said he will “listen to the merits of what people have to say.”
The current board will have the opportunity to approve the term limits proposal following next month’s hearing. If it doesn’t, then the onus will shift to the incoming board, which will have three new members, including Lupinacci, come January 2018.