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Separate the Legislative and Executive to Preserve Individual Liberty

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the Glen Cove Record Pilot on September 4, 2009.

I request that my fellow Glen Cove voters consider the following questions:

1. How is my voice heard in Glen Cove government?

2. Why don’t we jointly vote for our mayor and deputy mayor?

3. Why is the mayor a legislator and a chief executive?

Since we are ethnically diverse and economically stratified, our concerns vary among neighborhoods. Who can better speak for the needs of neighborhoods than council members who represent them? Currently, this is not the case. We should create six equal council districts based upon the decennial census.

Per our Glen Cove City Charter, the mayor appoints the deputy mayor. Since it is not an elective office, “the Deputy Mayor shall not be entitled to sit or vote as part of the City Council, nor shall the Deputy Mayor be entitled to make any appointments as herein provided [§C2-5 (B)].” Jointly voting for the mayor and deputy mayor would not only ensure efficient succession in the executive branch but also expand our voice in it.

Our greatest asset in maintaining individual liberty is a separation and a balance of government powers. Unfortunately, our current charter does not clearly delineate government powers as they exist at county, state, and federal levels. Except for the annual budget, the mayor presides over and votes on the city council. The mayor should only sign or veto legislation passed by our council – not vote on it. Furthermore, the deputy mayor should act as a vice president or a lieutenant governor, i.e., cast a tie-breaking vote and preside over the legislative body.

Robert A. Germino

Author’s note: Since I wrote this letter in 2009, there are two changes to it.  The city should have a speaker of the council who presides over the meetings–not the deputy mayor.  In addition, I should have stated that the mayor also can’t vote on his appointments.  A recent example of this is Mayor Spinello’s unlawful vote on his chief-of-staff’s appointment.

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