Controversial special election sparks outrage in Walworth
WALWORTH, N.Y.- The debate over a special election, just days away, is heating up in the town of Walworth.
Throughout the town, it’s hard to miss the sea of green “Vote No” signs scattered around. Gene Sines placed one proudly in his front lawn.
“We want this position, or any position, to have the right to say who is and what isn’t,” Sines said.
In a special election on August 16th, a town vote will decide whether the Town Clerk will be an elected or appointed position.
“On November 3, 2016, the Town Board instituted an investigation into some personnel issues regarding the Town Clerk’s office,” said Walworth Town Supervisor Patricia Marini.
Supervisor Marini says that an internal investigation supported complaints of misconduct and harassment under current Town Clerk Susie Jacobs.
“In February of 2017, we received a letter with 229 signatures asking us to allow the residents to have an opportunity to vote whether or not the position should stay as an elected official or be an appointed position,” Marini added.
The Town Board approved Local Law #2, clearing the way to have a special election to determine the future of the position.
“In our system, petitions are warranted,” said town resident Steve Yuschak. “Whether they are the right move or not is another story.”
Clerk Susie Jacobs declined 13WHAM’s request for an interview. Jacobs and her attorney have filed a notice of claim against the town of Walworth for making derogatory comments against her and moving forward with the special election.
If the job does become an appointed position, Jacobs will lose her job in 30 days and will have to reapply for the Town Board to decide her job status.
Polls will be open from noon to 9:00pm on Wednesday, August 16th.