2017-03-09 / Views

Who applied for commission?


That’s how we describe a series of events at a recent Empire Village Council meeting.

The occasion called for filling three openings on the village Planning Commission, for which there apparently has been much interest. Village president Sam Barr announced that seven candidates had applied.

That’s a good thing.

It is up to Mr. Barr as Village president to make appointments. Then Village Council members vote to approve or disapprove his selections.

Mr. Barr was ready to announce his first appointment, which prompted his council brethren to ask who else had applied. They also wondered aloud who else Mr. Barr planned to appoint.

They were told, in so many words, that such information was none of their business.

Well, actually, it’s the public’s business, and all members of the Village Council represent the public.

Eventually, council members capitulated and gave nods to all of Mr. Barr’s choices. No mention was made of who else applied.

And so village residents have no way of knowing if they might or might not agree with Mr. Barr’s selections when compared to the field of candidates available.

State law governing General Law villages is clear in creating shared responsibility between the council and village president in seating residents on public bodies. Each has a job to do.

However, council members were not given the information — public information, if Mr. Barr was talking about actual candidates who had applied in writing for the positions — needed to fulfill their responsibilities.

Mr. Barr may be adjusting to his new position as village president, which he won in the November General Election. Through is many years on the council, he has been a good public servant.

This time, however, he failed to serve the public.

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