CAPE VINCENT – The Town Council will meet with the Planning Board in an executive session early in January to discuss “personnel matters” regarding embattled Planning Board Chairman Richard J. Edsall.
Town Attorney Mark G. Gebo advised the town that the meeting can legally be closed to the public because Mr. Edsall is a paid town employee and his work history will be discussed, Town Supervisor Urban C. Hirschey said.
Under the state’s open government laws, employment histories or matters leading to the “demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal” of an employee may be discussed behind closed doors.
At a Town Council meeting last month, several residents expressed frustration with Mr. Edsall’s handling of his position. At that Nov. 18 meeting, residents argued that Mr. Edsall was not fit to represent the Planning Board because he has a conflict of interest relating to wind development in Cape Vincent and has broken town and state laws by not allowing public comment at Planning Board meetings.
Mr. Edsall and a few of his relatives have signed leases with BP Alternative Energy’s Cape Vincent Wind Farm.
The meeting is likely to be held Jan. 5 or 6, depending on Mr. Edsall’s availability. The Planning Board is scheduled to meet Jan. 12.
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