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Norfolk Town Supervisor Charles Pernice one step closer to four-year term after board agrees to put proposition on ballot


NORFOLK - The decision took all of 6 minutes, but after a brief public hearing Monday the Norfolk Town Board agreed to put a proposition on the November ballot that would extend the term for the town supervisor its current two year length to four years.

Charles A. Pernice will soon be wrapping up his second two-year term, and the Norfolk town supervisor is unopposed in his bid for re-election. Mr. Pernice has suggested making the supervisor’s post a four-year at the town board earlier this month. The four other members of the town council are already serving four-year terms.

“I’ve given this a lot of thought and done a lot of research on it. Every other elected official in the town of Norfolk is four years. Back when they did that, the supervisor position was turned down,” he said at the time. “I would like to put up that same question for vote on Election Day this year and change the term of town supervisor from two years to four years. Simply all this is is putting it in your hands, so all you have to do tonight is, if you so wish is to set up a public hearing.”

While there was no opposition to the proposal at the public hearing, Norfolk resident John P. Margittay brought up the potential issue of multiple town officials’ terms ending at the same time.

“I’m not opposed to it, it’s just that if you could kind of stagger people’s (terms). You know if everbody’s up all at once it could be a complete change and that’s not so good,” Mr. Margittay said.

“I don’t know if it’s good or bad, I just know that (in) town history, New York state all terms are two years unless you change it and most everybody has. I know a couple of other supervisors that are two years but most of them across the county are all four-year terms. In 1986, when we did it here, again I don’t even know who was supervisor then; the supervisor was the only person in office turned down. The clerk, all the councilpersons, judges, everyone was changed to four years but the supervisor. This just puts it more in line with everybody else,” Mr. Pernice responded.

Councilman Kevin Enslow was outspoken during the meeting about his support for the extension.

“I think with the big projects that we have going on it only makes sense,” he said. “You take something like our sewer project. You worked on that and then all of a sudden the actual project shows up and you’re the one that knows everything about the project.”

Of the 32 town supervisors in St. Lawrence County, 20 currently serve four-year terms, according to the St. Lawrence County Board of Elections. The remaining 12 supervisors serve two-year terms.

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