MASSENA - Massena Fire Chief Thomas C. Miller was appointed to the town board Wednesday night, following a brief executive session and a 3-1 vote.
He replaces Robert Cunningham, who resigned earlier this year to take a job with the Massena Electric Department.
Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray voted against the appointment, but he said it was nothing personal against Mr. Miller, who is a Democrat. Mr. Gray is the boards lone Republican.
Its nothing against Tom Miller, I just thought the seat should stay vacant until the election, he said.
Mr. Gray said other board members voiced concerns over a potential tie heading into the years budget negotiations.
The discussion was, What if there is a tie during the budget discussion? The board was afraid of a split during budget discussions, he said. I was willing to risk it.
Mr. Millers term will begin Sept. 1 and run through Dec. 31. Should he desire to keep the seat for the remaining two years of the term, hell have to be elected to the position this fall.
Hell have to run just like anybody else, Mr. Gray said.
When asked if he was planning to do so, Mr. Miller replied, Absolutely.
Town Councilman Charles A. Chuck Raiti said he thinks Mr. Miller will be a valuable asset to the board.
I think hell be a good councilman, he said. Tom has the qualifications. If he can run the fire department, hell do a good job for the town.
Mr. Miller said hes looking forward to serving on the board and doing what he can do to help his hometown.
All my life Ive been a volunteer, he said. I love the township and Ive lived her my whole life. Im looking forward to the challenges facing the town, whether its budgets, contract negotiations or other issues. I look forward to going to work for the taxpayers.
Mr. Miller also said he would like to thank his fellow board members for their support.
I would like to thank the current board members for their faith in me, he said. I look forward to being part of the team.