Vote fails to fill Ogdensburg council vacancy - again

Ogdensburg city council
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 5:53 AM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - Another vote fails to fill the vacancy on the Ogdensburg city council.

Councillor Dan Skamperle called for a point of order to vote again to appoint Michael Tooley to the seat vacated by former councillor Nichole Kennedy.

Skamperle’s reasoning for reintroducing the vote was based on advice the council was given by the city attorney, who says the council should have filled the seat in July when Tooley was the only candidate left for consideration.

A vote to bring the vacancy up for discussion again failed Monday 4-2, with Skamperle and Councillor Mike Powers voting in favor.

The council voted 20 times to fill the seat in July. All 20 finished with a 3-3 tie between Robert Edie and Michael Tooley. After an hour of voting, Edie bowed out of the race but a resolution to appoint Tooley did not pass.

After his efforts to fill the seat failed, Skamperle says he is confused why the other members of council don’t want to fill the vacant seat.

“As the attorney’s opinion came out, we should have never did that, we should have just continued with the C10 simple vote,” Sakmperle said. “I have read it over and over again and I know some people disagree, but that is his opinion.”

If the seat is not filled by the end of year, it will be filled on January 1 after November’s election.

Tooley is running unopposed for mayor. Edie is running for city council.

The council also voted to enter into a site access agreement with the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority to allow improvements to continue at the Ogdensburg Airport. The vote was 5-1, with the lone “no” vote coming from Councillor Steven Fisher.

Work was halted in August after stormwater improvements were being made on land where unmarked graves dating back to the late 1800s were buried. The city was unaware of the work being done at the time.

Interim city manager Andrea Smith says before work can continue, more permits will need to be approved and a certified archeologist be on hand when work is done to identify and preserve anything that is dug up.