By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO Who’s in charge of the Village of Monticello is under debate, following Village Manager John Barbarite’s July 31 retirement.
Other than accepting Barbarite’s resignation, no action was taken on the matter at Tuesday’s regular village board meeting.
But an attorney-client session that same evening apparently resulted in an argument so intense that Mayor Gordon Jenkins left in the middle of it.
According to several sources, at issue is the interpretation of village law specifically, whether it says the mayor or the deputy village manager automatically becomes the village manager upon the position’s vacancy.
In interviews on Wednesday, the situation remained disputed.
“I’m the acting manager of the village right now, based upon the law and the majority of the board,” stated John LiGreci, who was deputy under Barbarite.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m acting manager until we appoint him manager,” replied Jenkins.
Jenkins is supported in his contention by Trustee Carmen Rue, who has cited the Village Code as support and pointed out that the board has not yet made any official decision.
LiGreci’s stance, meanwhile, reportedly has the backing of other trustees and village attorney Dominic Cordisco, who is said to have referenced a recently passed village law affirming such.
Cordisco could not be reached for comment, however, and the matter is likely not to be resolved until at least the next board meeting, set for Tuesday, August 16 at 7 p.m. in the village hall.
Despite the disagreement, it seems probable that LiGreci will be named the permanent manager within the next few weeks.
Jenkins has not committed to a particular name yet but did say that he does not want the job for himself. He’s only interested in remaining mayor and promised not to collect a salary for any acting manager duties he performs.
He added that he wants the job filled as soon as possible.
“I’m just trying to see what the law is,” Jenkins explained.