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McMahon passed over for seat on board

The Grand Island Town Board will vote Tuesday to appoint its newest council member, but the seat won't be going to Peter McMahon, the town's former longtime supervisor.

McMahon was one of 16 people who applied for the job, but he was never granted an interview.

Instead, he received a letter from the Town Board and signed by supervisor-elect Mary Cooke saying the board had already narrowed the field of candidates and that he did not make the first round of cuts.

McMahon was "by far the most knowledgeable of the 16 [candidates] that requested interviews," board member Gary Roesch said, adding that he originally thought McMahon should be considered for the position.

But Roesch changed his mind after considering how he might handle a similar hiring situation in the private sector, he said. He worried about the dynamic of a board member working under someone who was previously subordinate to him.

"I felt it would be a very awkward situation for both [him] and the rest of the Town Board," Roesch said. Cooke and other board members did not respond to a request to comment.

Cooke ousted McMahon in November's election. McMahon subsequently applied for the open seat that will be vacated when Cooke leaves to take office as supervisor.

The board will vote Tuesday to appoint a replacement member to fill the vacant seat until a special election can be held in November.

Newly elected and re-elected Grand Island officials will be sworn in at 1 p.m. today at the Buffalo Launch Club.

Cooke will be sworn into office, as will be returning board members Richard Crawford and Roesch, returning town clerk Patricia Frentzel and returning town justice Sybil Kennedy.