Manhasset, N.Y. –The Town of North Hempstead had a significant victory yesterday in the appellate division of the New York State Supreme Court. A five member panel ruled unanimously to uphold a lower court decision which affirmed the Town's right under law to create district lines for the new ward system voted for by the electorate in the April 29th special election.
The North Hempstead Republican Town Leader, Peter Cavallaro, having forced the special election on April 29th at a cost to tax payers of about $250,000, then did not accept the fact that the Town had the right to establish the new district lines. He proceeded to file a suit to prevent this. Despite the lower court decision supporting the Town, Mr. Cavallaro appealed that decision, creating delay and possible chaotic confusion. The Appellate Court was emphatic in denying his appeal, calling his a petition "without merit".
Town Attorney, Bonnie P. Chaikin said, "I was always confident that the Town was on firm legal ground in implementing the ward system pursuant to the provisions of its own Town Code." Supervisor May W. Newburger agreed, "This decision establishes important legal precedent reaffirming local government's particular right to address implementation matters concerning its own governance and structure."
Ms. Chaikin further explains; "The court has recognized that the Town Board, the elected representatives of the citizens of North Hempstead, was the appropriate body to implement the ward system in accordance to the Town Code and draw the council district lines. Basically, home rule powers possessed by local municipalities prevailed yesterday and that is an important win for all local government throughout the state.
The decision enables the Town to carryout the democratic process of electing it's Town Board by wards this November 4th . It also orders Peter Cavallaro, the petitioner of this suit, to pay costs related to this appeal.