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Moira Super Researches Options As Peck Leaves

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MALONE - Current Moira Supervisor Cindy Gale has started research on what options the town board can choose from to fill the supervisor’s seat next year.

Burton Peck IV was supposed to step in as the town’s supervisor after being elected in November for a two-year term, defeating James Begor 333 to 158. But Mr. Peck said Thursday he would not take the seat, saying his appointment as a school principal in Massena woudl require too much of his time.

“Cindy is doing her homework to know what steps we’ve got to take,” said Moira Town Councilman Marty Burnett, adding that he believed Mr. Peck would have been a good candidate to fill the supervisor spot.

Ms. Gale said she should have all the information collected and ready to discuss at the town’s regular board meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Mr. Burnett said the board used to have three different options to choose from: leave the position vacant until the next election, appoint someone, or take the next highest vote-getter.

“But some things change; that was four, five, six years ago,” Mr. Burnett said. “We want to know all of our options ... we want to make sure we’re doing things right.”

He noted that the board will also be looking for some input from newly elected board member Darrin Jock at the Tuesday meeting, even though Mr. Jock will not be officially on the board until the beginning of the year.

Mr. Jock will be replacing current Councilwoman Dawn Barney, who chose not to run again this year.

“We’re looking for his input because he will have to live with the decision,” Mr. Burnett said.

Mr. Burnett said this isn’t the first time the town board had to deal with a situation like this one. However, at that time it was replacing newly elected councilman.

“He got ill, so we appointed a past person to take the position,” Mr. Burnett said.

A similar situation happened in Bombay “many years ago,” when the elected supervisor at the time became ill and the town board appointed another person to fill the position, said Republican Franklin County Elections Commissioner Veronica King.

The county elections board has no input on the board’s next move, Ms. King noted.

“Once the election is over, it’s out of our hands,” she said. “It would be up to the town to decide what to do.”

Mr. Peck would have replaced Ms. Gale, who opted to run for the Franklin County clerk position rather than seek re-election.

Ms. Gale was defeated in that contest by Kip Cassavaw.

Ms. Gale said Friday that she “would definitely step into [the position] again” if the board were to ask her to.

Mr. Peck turned down the supervisor seat to give his full attention to his position as principal at J.W. Leary Junior High School in Massena His appointment to the post was approved by the Massena school board Thursday night.

“I’m not required to choose one position over another,” Mr. Peck said Thursday.

Mr. Peck said he appreciated the community’s support that enabled him to win the supervisor’s seat, but noted that he didn’t feel it was “ethically right” to take on both positions.

“They’re two huge learning curves,” he said. “I would take both of them very serious and they would require my full attention.”

Mr. Burnett said though it came as a surprise, he wishes Mr. Peck “all the luck in the world ... but it leaves us in a little bit of a scramble.”

Mr. Peck currently serves as a business and English teacher at Massena High School.

He said Thursday that he was “excited” to start as the school’s new principal.

Ms. Gale is also researching whether board members can accept a resignation letter from Mr. Peck now, or if they have to wait until he starts his new principal position on Jan. 21.

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