By Jeffery Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
CORNING - Steuben County Legislator Hilda Lando called the City Council’s decision Monday night to table her appointment to the city Board of Health a “cowardly act.”
“Ladies and gentleman of this council, I am so disappointed in what you’ve done,” Lando told the council moments after the vote. “Positive or negative, I would have taken it either way, but to table it is a disappointing.”
The motion to appoint Lando to the city Board of Health was made by Mayor Rich Negri.
Councilman Steven Maio, D-1, who also served on the Steuben County Legislator along with Lando, made a motion to table the vote until the council’s January meeting.
“The table had nothing to do with Lando’s qualifications,” Maio said. “She is a qualified candidate. But there is a sentiment, because she is temporarily residing outside the city that (the council) should wait until she is living in the city.”
Maio said he doesn’t necessarily agree with that.
“But I think under the circumstances, we’d be well advised to wait and take this up next month,” Maio said.
The motion to approve Mayor Nigri’s appointment was tabled 5-4.
Deputy Mayor Bill Boland, D-4, and councilmen Chris Karam, R-3, Alison Hunt, R-8, Michele Beckman, R-2, and Maio all voted to table the motion.
“You had a councilman, I was hoping I didn’t have to say this, but you can have a councilman for several years living outside the city and now this,” said Lando, who recently sold a Southside home and moved to Painted Post with her husband. “As a former councilman, for almost nine years, and most of you were here, you know who I am and what I do.”
As Lando was telling the council her feelings Karam left the council chambers.
“Goodbye,” said Karam as he walked by Lando. “According to the sunshine law when someone from the public addresses the council they have to be polite.”
“I’m polite,” Lando responded. “I’m polite, goodbye”
Lando, who said Monday she and her husband are close to purchasing a home in the city, said she just asked to be on the city Board of Health.
“Which (the council) approves all the time to people living outside the city, the only one who ever objects is Frank Coccho,” Lando said. “He objects to a board or a committee member that is not resident in the city.”
Councilman Frank Coccho, D-6, wanted the City Council's record to reflect that he is “terribly disappointed in his colleague Councilman Karam for walking out of the meeting."
“So noted,” Negri answered.
Dr. Gary Enders, director of the city Board of Health, called Lando’s background impressive.
“I think she would be an asset to the Health Board,” Enders said. “Maybe next month you guys will vote in favor.”
The City Council is expected to vote on the motion at the January monthly meeting.