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Town of Conesville Still Without Highway Superintendent

Written By Editor on 11/26/13 | 11/26/13

Residents of the Town of Conesville are still wondering this Tuesday - three weeks after election day - who their Highway Superintendent will be in the race between Democrat Stephen Young and incumbent Republican Larry Brandow, which after absentee and affidavit ballots were counted last Tuesday was tied at 154 votes apiece.
We have been working on finding the answer to this unusual occurrence by researching New York State Town law and reaching out to the Town of Conesville, but unfortunately state law does not specify what actions must be taken in case of a tie between candidates and the Conesville Town Clerk is currently on vacation, which has resulted in a game of phone tag with the Deputy Clerk.
Although not specified under the election sub-section of New York State Town law, it is spelled out in other sub-sections that the Town Board is the ultimate arbiter in regards to filling vacant elected and appointed offices, which in this situation could result in the five individuals who sit on the Conesville Town Board electing their next Highway Superintendent.   
However, that only muddies the water further because of the political dynamics of the Conesville Town Board, which is unanimously Republican, and would potentially have the power to choose between the incumbent Republican Highway Superintendent and his Democratic opponent, a disconcerting situation considering the overwhelmingly Republican electorate did not place much political emphasis in their decision on November 5th, but that doesn't mean the Board wont.
Unfortunately, the County Board of Elections had to throw out an absentee ballot during last week's count because its applicant passed away between the time he filled it out and the election occurred, which in New York State results in the immediate invalidation of that vote. A vote that in this tight race would have decided the election and prevented this complicated situation from happening in the first place.
The Schoharie News will continue to monitor this developing story.
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