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Election set to replace ex-trustee

The Blasdell Village Board this week scheduled a special election for March 20 to replace former trustee Jeffrey Adrian, who earlier this month resigned unexpectedly after he asked the board to adjourn to an executive session for a "personnel" issue.

Mayor Michael Petrie agreed that the executive session had been incorrectly convened and that the resignation should have been done in open session.

But he said he did not know why Adrian had called for the closed-door session until board members were in it.

Resignations can not be handled in executive session, according to the state's open meeting laws.

Not only was the resignation a surprise to the board, but Adrian left Village Hall directly after the announcement and did not return to the regular board meeting when it reconvened moments later.

In Adrian's absence, Trustee Lou McDonald has been named deputy mayor and liaison to the Police Department. His term will expire April 1.

Petitions to fill Adrian's seat should be submitted to Village Administrator Janet Plarr by 4:30 p.m. Feb. 14. The petition must contain 50 signatures of registered voters who live in the village.

The new trustee will serve out the remaining year of Adrian's term, which expires March 30, 2013, and will have an opportunity to run for the seat's full four-year term after that.

In other matters, the board held a public hearing on a proposed local law authorizing a property tax increase in excess of the 2 percent limit.

"This doesn't mean we will exceed the 2 percent, but in case we do, we'll have the law on the books so that when the time comes we're ready," Petrie said.

He expects the preliminary budget to be ready in about six weeks, in time for a public hearing on March 14.

Plarr said the village lost $568,000 in assessed property value during the past year. She said that translates to a loss of $10,000 in real property taxes.