July 13, 2011 —
Voters in the Town of Tusten cast paper ballots on July 12 to decide who should have the authority to appoint a bookkeeper for the town. In the past, the supervisor had the sole authority, but past supervisors sought the approval of the other board members as a courtesy.
The board voted to eliminate the bookkeeper position at the beginning of the year, and her duties fell to supervisor Harrison who, as supervisor, is responsible for the town’s budget and the distribution of funds. However, the town’s auditors said it is not desirable to have the supervisor also serve as bookkeeper.
Harrison wanted to have the sole authority to appoint the bookkeeper, which is how affairs are arranged in most towns in Sullivan County. But some members of the board wanted to change the law to give the authority to the full town board. A change in the law required the approval of the voters.
As of press time, there were 132 votes to give authority to the board and 129 to leave the authority with Harrison. However, in eight cases the intention of the voter will need to be determined by the county, and five affidavit votes will also be determined by the county.