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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Massena board undecided on vacant position

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MASSENA — The village board is still deciding who will fill a vacant clerk position at the Department of Public Works.

The board called a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. Monday, then immediately went into an executive session to discuss particular candidates for the position being vacated by Julie Sharlow. Ms. Sharlow is replacing retiring Treasurer Daniel E. Case.

The board returned after 30 minutes and took no action. Trustee Patricia K. “Trish” Wilson said the board was still reviewing the qualifications of candidates and was doing its due diligence to ensure it was choosing the right individual.

The village board also met for an executive session at the end of July to disucss the DPW clerk position, and also took no action at the end of that meeting. Meetings about the specific qualifications of particular candidates can be held in private, according to Robert J. Freeman, executive director of the New York State Committee on Open Government. But any discussion on the position, and not particular people, should be held publicly, he said.

“There is a dividing line between the discussion of the process as opposed to a discussion focused on particular candidates,” Mr. Freeman said. “Whenever it’s possible to do so, a line of demarcation should be drawn between the issues involving the process as opposed to the issues involving specific candidates.”

Monday’s executive session only focused on the qualification of particular candidates, Mayor James F. Hidy said.

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