Council accused of violating city charter again

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POUGHKEEPSIE – The city’s common council is in direct violation of the city charter, again.  In addition to failing to establish a redistricting committee as mandated by law, the council is now failing to hold specific meetings required under the city charter.

The informational meeting, required by law to be held in March, is being held on Monday, April 4, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

According to the charter regarding informational meetings, the law says in part “In addition to its organizational, regular and special meetings as hereinabove prescribed, the common council shall convene meetings in March and September of each year which shall be solely informational. All members of the common council, the mayor, the city administrator, and the heads of all city departments and offices shall be in attendance unless excused by the council chair for good cause shown.”

City resident and government watchdog Laurie Sandow recently took to social media to question the council for failing to meet another requirement of the city charter.  “Is there a single Common Councilmember with the spine to speak out against the Charter violations and denounce the fake news that an Informational Meeting in April complies with the Charter?” Sandow asked publicly.  Ms. Sandow also chastised Council Chairperson Sarah Salem’s meeting rules, indicating they are unfair and a result of “Sarah Salem’s hostile dictate limiting the informational meeting to only 30 minutes.”

Council Majority Leader Evan Menist did not respond to a request seeking comment.