Dan Hust | Democrat
The 2014 Cochecton Town Board consists of (front row from the left) Councilman Sean Nearing, Councilman Larry Richardson and Supervisor Gary Maas; and (back row from the left) Town Clerk Hollye Schulman, Councilwoman Anna Story and Councilman Ed Grund. The Sullivan County Democrat was named the town’s official newspaper, while Story (in addition to other duties) became the board’s new liaison to the Lake Huntington Fire District’s Board of Commissioners. Town board meetings will continue to be held at 7:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month, with a public worksession preceding each meeting at 7 p.m.
Cochecton re-seats challenged incumbent
Story by Dan Hust
LAKE HUNTINGTON January 7, 2014 The Cochecton Town Board’s reorganizational meeting Friday night featured the arrival of new Councilman Sean Nearing and the return of Councilman Ed Grund, whose continued incumbency had earlier been in question.
Seventeen absentee ballots from November considered to be largely (likely exclusively) in favor of board candidate Paul Salzberg were successfully challenged by Cochecton Supervisor Gary Maas on the grounds that the voters were from a seasonal Lake Huntington community and typically voted at their full-time residences elsewhere.
Had those votes counted, Salzberg could have replaced Grund, as their vote totals were close. (Nearing’s lead was too significant, and Salzberg’s running mate, Joan Glase, was too far behind to change the outcome of the rest of the race.)
The ruling in Maas’ favor is being appealed, but in the meantime, the court determined that Grund can serve in the position unless and until the Appellate Division says otherwise.
Grund, who earns just over $4,000 a year for his service on the board, was renamed deputy supervisor on Friday, indicating Maas’ confidence any appeal will not be successful.
Indeed, the current appeal may be in danger of being dropped, indicated attorney Kirk Orseck, who represents the voters in question.
“My clients have lost a whole lot of interest,” he told the Democrat yesterday. “There is infighting amongst the group, totally irrelevant to the situation.”
Maas, who will earn approximately $17,300 in 2014 as supervisor, said he’s got no hard feelings towards Salzberg.
In fact, the Lake Huntington resident and well-known physician was unanimously renamed the town’s health officer a state-required position that pays $500 annually.