At the Reporter’s print deadline, Supervisor Gerry Siller released a statement that Town Councilman Mike Bebon had resigned from the Town Board. The Reporter will have more upcoming on the news on this site.
Here’s Mr. Siller’s statement in full:
“This week we lost two extremely dedicated members of Town government through resignation. Councilman Mike Bebon tendered his resignation this morning, effective immediately. Mike brought a completely different perspective to the Town Board. His depth of knowledge, sincerity, professionalism and commitment to Town issues was unparalleled in my years of experience in Town government. Mike was a tremendous asset to the Town and he will be sorely missed.
“Edward Hindin also tendered his resignation, effective immediately. Edward brought his expertise to the Planning Board as well as the Comprehensive Plan, serving in both positions as a volunteer. It was singularly through Edward’s efforts that the Comprehensive Plan Task Force was established and the entire process started. It will be very difficult for the process to continue as smoothly as it has to date.
“I will not get into the reasons for their resignations. The Town Board will continue to move forward. Our two main priorities, housing and water, are still in the forefront. In the coming weeks we will be presenting proposals to address both issues.
“There seems to have been some confusion, but it should be noted that the Task Force, and not the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) is tasked with managing the process on behalf of the Town Board. The role of the CPAC is purely advisory to the Task Force. The CPAC was created to assist the Task Force and is one of many ways in which citizen input is sought. There have also been or will be surveys, focus groups (workshops), consultations with town committees and departments and conversations with community organizations and local businesses.
“With the resignations of Mike Bebon and Edward Hindin from the Comprehensive Plan Task Force, the Town Board has decided to suspend further work on the Comprehensive Plan until such time as the Task Force can be reconstituted or reconfigured. The Town Board recognizes the work and momentum that has been achieved thus far and anticipates restarting as soon as possible.”
Following an announcement from Councilman Bebon earlier this week that he had resigned from the Community Housing Board (CHB), Bob Kohn, a CHB member revealed the Town Code prohibits any Town Council member to serve on that board, and he called for the resignations of Mr. Bebon and Supervisor Gerry Siller from the Town Board.
The issue surfaced when Mr. Kohn requested adding an agenda item to a recent CHB meeting, but was told by Mr. Bebon that the item could not be discussed.
The issue was Mr. Kohn’s concerns about the Gardiner’s Bay Country Club application pending with the ZBA to have staff housing created on its site.
When he was told by Mr. Bebon he couldn’t add the agenda item — an opinion backed by Mr. Siller and Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr. — Mr. Kohn looked at the Town Code and discovered any member had the right to add an item to a meeting agenda. He also discovered the prohibition against allowing Mr. Bebon from serving on the CHB.