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Councilman Bebon quits Housing Board: Heeds call for his resignation

Councilman Mike Bebon has resigned from the Community Housing Board (CHB).

Mr. Bebon issued a written statement Wednesday evening saying he tendered his resignation Wednesday morning and it was accepted by his fellow Town Board members.

Although Wednesday’s Town Board work session followed the resignation, it was not mentioned during that meeting.

“It was my pleasure to have worked with all of you directly as a member of the CHB and it was an honor and a privilege to have served as your chair,” Mr. Bebon wrote in an email sent to the members of the housing board.

He declined further comment.

The resignation came in the wake of a challenge from the CHB’s newest member, Bob Kohn, who noted that a clause in the Town Code prohibits a Town Board member from serving on The CHB, Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals. It’s unclear whether Mr. Bebon was aware of the prohibition when he accepted the CHB role.

He serves as chairman of the Water Advisory Committee, which has no such prohibition. When he was appointed to chair both committees, there was conversation among Town Board members noting that a precedent had been set by Councilman Jim Colligan’s chairing the Capital Planning/Grants Committee. But in that case, there is no Town Code prohibition to his serving in that role.

Mr. Kohn discovered the prohibition when he read the code pertaining to the CHB after he was told by Mr. Bebon that, on the advice of Supervisor Gerry Siller and Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr., no discussion of the Gardiner’s Bay Country Club application pending with the ZBA should take place at either CHB or Water Advisory Committee meetings.

Mr. Bebon was on vacation at last week’s CHB meeting, which Mr. Siller ran in his absence. Mr. Kohn charged that was illegal under the Town Code. Mr. Siller had acknowledged that he was aware of the code prohibiting a Town Board member from serving on the CHB, but that no action had been taken to change the code or appoint someone else to the Community Housing Board.

The story about Mr. Kohn’s call for both Town Board  members to resign from the Town Board appears on the front page of the Thursday, June 3 Reporter.

Following Mr. Bebon’s notice of his resignation from the Community Housing Board, Mr. Kohn reiterated his earlier call for both men to resign from the Town Board.