Meetings
 
DAY 4 – February 28, 2019 – 7:00 PM
AGENDA
CHEMUNG COUNTY SPECIAL MEETING
PURSUANT TO RESOLUTION NO. 08-100, RULES I, II, & III
1. ROLL CALL OF LEGISLATORS
2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
3. PRESENTATION OF RESOLUTIONS, MOTIONS AND NOTICES
  PERSONNEL
19-192 Resolution affirming appointment of the Attorney to the Legislature and Special Districts and the appointing authority of the Chairman and members of the Chemung County Legislature
19-193 Resolution authorizing an Article 78 Proceeding
4. ADJOURNMENT
Meetings
 
DAY 4 – EVENING SESSION
MINUTES
CHEMUNG COUNTY SPECIAL MEETING
February 28, 2019
Legislature was called to order by the Chairman of the Chemung County Legislature at 7:00 p.m.  The following members were present when the Clerk called roll: 

Pastrick ___                Manchester _x_                      Sweet _x__                 Brennan _x__  

Margeson _x__           Hyland _x__                           Sonsire _x__               Woodard _x__ 

Burin _x_                    Chalk _x__                              Briggs _x__                McCarthy _x__ 

Drake _x__                 Smith _x__                              Strange _x__ 


MOTION 


By:   Sweet 

Seconded by:  Brennan              

MOVED, that the following Legislator is excused from this Session:  John Pastrick 

CARRIED.  


The Chairman explained that the purpose of the special meeting was to adopt time sensitive resolutions on behalf of the Attorney to the Legislature and Special Districts.

RESOLUTION NO. 19-192
Resolution affirming appointment of the Attorney to the Legislature and Special Districts and the appointing authority of the Chairman and members of the Chemung County Legislature

By:  Chalk

Seconded by:  Strange

 

WHEREAS, the Chairman of the Chemung County Legislature appointed Bryan Maggs to the position of Attorney to the Legislature and Special Districts by communication dated January 1, 2019, which communication was unanimously adopted by Resolution 19-003 of the Chemung County Legislature on January 1, 2019; and

WHEREAS, by letter dated February 21, 2019 Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss challenged whether the County Executive or Chairman of the Legislature has authority to appoint the Attorney to the Legislature and Special Districts; and

WHEREAS, Chemung County Charter section 101 separates the Executive from the Legislative branch by establishing “separation of Legislative and Executive functions and responsibilities”, and the engagement of a confidential attorney providing legal services for the Legislature, and selected by the Legislature has existed uninterrupted since Resolution 83-298; and

WHEREAS, County Law 204 vests this Legislature with exclusive authority to establish and abolish positions of employment; and Chemung County Charter empowers the Legislature to be the appropriating and policy-making body of County Government, to decide the terms of employment for all County employees, and to appoint employees within the Legislature to assist in discharging its functions; and

WHEREAS, the Attorney to the Legislature and Special Districts became a provisional employee of Chemung County pending New York State Civil Service jurisdictional classification, following Resolution 01-120, and received permanent jurisdictional classification in 2002; and

WHEREAS, the “unit” of County Government within which the civil service title was created was the Legislature, and the employee “maintains a confidential attorney-client relationship” with the Legislature; and

WHEREAS, the Chemung County Legislature is a unit of the County that is headed by an elected chairperson; and

WHEREAS, Chemung County Charter section 309 directs that while non-elected department heads are appointed by the County Executive, “all other officers and employees of each department or other administrative unit shall be appointed by the head thereof”; and

WHEREAS, the position of Attorney to the Legislature and Special Districts has in fact been selected and appointed by the Chairperson of the Legislature since its inception, in accordance with the power vested in the Legislature by Law and Charter; and

WHEREAS,  by letter dated February 27, 2019 Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss served a letter upon the Attorney to the Legislature and Special Districts, terminating his employment effective March 1, 2019 exercising purported authority pursuant to Chemung County Charter Section 302(b); and

WHEREAS, Chemung County Charter section 302(b) permits the County Executive to supervise and direct the internal organization and reorganization of each department or other administrative unit, the head of which he has the power to appoint; and

WHEREAS, vesting the County Executive with authority to choose and appoint and remove at his pleasure the attorney that represents the Legislature would violate the “separation of County Legislative and Executive functions and responsibilities” specified in Charter section 101, and undermine the important role the Attorney to the Legislature serves in the performance of the Legislative branch of Chemung County’s government; and

WHEREAS, it is deemed prudent to clarify the appointment authority and going forward employment status for the Attorney to the Legislature and Special Districts; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the selection, appointment, reporting, duties, benefits, and all other terms and conditions of employment of the Attorney to the Legislature and Special Districts has been, and shall heretofore continue to be, vested within the exclusive authority and province of the Legislature of the County of Chemung; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the appointment made and confirmed in Resolution 19-003 is ratified and reconfirmed herein in accordance with Chemung County Charter sections 101, 105, 203, 203(b), 309, and other applicable provisions of law; and be it further

RESOLVED,  that the present employment status of the Attorney to the Legislature and Special Districts, including duties, rights, authority, and payment of wages and benefits, shall not be cancelled or modified by any department, officer, or employee of the County of Chemung without further Resolution of this Legislature or a Court of Competent Jurisdiction.

 

 

Ayes:  Pastrick, Sweet, Brennan, Margeson, Hyland, Sonsire, Woodard, Burin, Chalk, Briggs, McCarthy, Drake, Smith, Strange, Manchester (Chairman) (15);  Opposed:  None; CARRIED.

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 19-193
Resolution authorizing an Article 78 Proceeding

By:  Chalk

Seconded by:  Sonsire

 

            BE IT RESOLVED, that the Chemung County Legislature hereby authorizes proceedings to be filed pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, seeking a writ of prohibition, nullifying the action by the County Executive on February 27, 2019, which purportedly operates to void the appointment and terminate the employment of Bryan Maggs as Attorney to the Legislature and Special Districts by the Chairman of the Legislature, unanimously adopted by Resolution No. 19-003, as said action by the County Executive was without authority, improper, unlawful, and in excess of his authority and jurisdiction. 

 

Ayes:  Pastrick, Sweet, Brennan, Hyland, Sonsire, Woodard, Burin, Chalk, Briggs, McCarthy, Drake, Smith, Strange, Manchester (Chairman) (14); Opposed:  Margeson (1); CARRIED.

 

MOTION 

By:  Sweet 

Seconded by:   Drake

MOVED, that this Chemung County Legislature be adjourned until Monday, March 11, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the Legislative Chambers, 5th floor, Hazlett Building, 203 Lake Street, Elmira, New York.

CARRIED.