With former councilman Ernie Palmer stepping down last week from the Lewiston Town Board, the responsibility for finding his replacement falls on the group he leaves behind.
According to state law, replacing a vacated position on the board, or with any open appointments at the town level, the remaining board itself gets to make the final choice. Article 64 of the state's town law delineates the responsibilities of all town boards throughout the state, with subsection five detailing how vacant positions are filled in scenarios such as the one Lewiston faces.
"Whenever a vacancy shall occur or exist in any town office, the town board or a majority of the members thereof, may appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy," the law states. "If the appointment be made to fill a vacancy in an elective office, the person so appointed shall hold office until the commencement of the calendar year next succeeding the first annual election at which the vacancy may be filled."
In order to find a qualified replacement for Palmer, the board is asking interested individuals to apply before March 5 by sending or dropping off a resume to the town clerk's office at 1375 Ridge Road, Lewiston.
Concerning Palmer's departure, the remaining four members of the town board expressed their feelings toward Palmer, recognizing the former Youngstown police chief and Niagara Falls chief of detectives and his service to the community.
"It was an honor to serve with him on this board," Councilman Alfonso Bax said.
Councilman Ron Winkley, who said he's known Palmer both professionally and personally for more than 30 years, also remembered his experiences with the retired board member. He said Palmer sang at his wedding and he wishes him nothing but the best as there are plans for the Palmer family to do a lot of traveling in the coming months.