Depew residents who want to talk about reducing the size of the Village Board will be able to do that at a public hearing Feb. 12.
The Village Board on Monday night scheduled the hearing on a proposed local law that would reduce the number of trustees from six to four. If approved by the Village Board, voters would decide the fate of the law during the March 13 election.
A similar proposal was turned down twice by the board in 2004. Mayor Joseph McIntosh has said he was not in favor of the reduction three years ago because he felt the board needed seven members to function properly, and he thought there were political motives behind the measure. "The motives are more genuine now," he said.
He said the board has operated with fewer than seven members at times in the last several years. "We seem to be able to function," he said.
Village Attorney James Vallone told board members in the work session before the meeting that the local law they are considering requires a referendum.
"There's no question in order to structurally change government you have to go by local law," he said.
All seven members voted in favor of conducting the public hearing at their next board meeting at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12.
If the law is approved by voters, two trustee positions would be eliminated in 2009. McIntosh said the terms that expire that year currently are held by Teresa Fusani, Eugene Molinaro and William Dillemuth Jr.
The legislative intent listed in the local law says it is an effort to reduce the size of government and expenditures. McIntosh said the village would save $15,000 in salaries by eliminating two trustee positions.
Also Monday, the board transferred Marie Nelson, who had been the mayor's secretary, to fill a part-time vacancy in the treasurer's office. Colleen Seifert of Argus Drive was appointed secretary to the mayor.