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Former Yorktown Supervisor Challenges Open Meetings Law

Susan Siegel went to court to try to block Yorktown from meeting in executive session
Susan Siegel went to court to try to block Yorktown from meeting in executive session Photo Credit: File Photo

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- Susan Siegel, who previously served as Yorktown Supervisor and town councilwoman went to court this week to protest the town discussing a new position in executive session before discussing it in public.

Siegel appeared in Westchester Supreme Court in White Plains with Yorktown Town Attorney Michael McDermott over the town discussing the hiring of a deputy town engineer in executive session. Siegel, who asked for a temporary restraining order and an injunction, had her case was dismissed by Judge Linda Jamieson, McDermott said.

"How can you advertise a position when you haven't discussed creating it yet?" Siegel said. "There was no open discussion."

Town boards usually discuss personnel matters in executive session, though Siegel said they should not discuss creating positions in executive session since it involves taxpayer dollars.

"I want the town to operate efficiently and with transparency," Siegel said. "The only way to hold town officials accountable is to stay informed."

McDermott said the executive sessions were to discuss the employment histories of various employees of the town and will proceed as scheduled.

"At the court conference, Judge Jamieson issued no warnings or orders to the Town and gave no direction to the Town Board as to how it should proceed with the work sessions," McDermott said. “The Town Board and the Town Clerk are fully aware of proper procedure and need not be instructed as to what subjects are appropriately discussed in executive sessions."

Supervisor Michael Grace, who defeated Siegel when he was elected Town Supervisor, said the case was a waste of time.

"It seems Ms. Siegel cannot accept she is no longer on the town board," Grace said. "There will always be the Siegels out there that are never satisfied and always ready to throw stones."

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