Friday, 17 February 2017 15:34

Town Government Settles on New Member

MILTON — After closing a sometimes-heated Milton Town Board meeting Wednesday night, Chairman Dan Lewza said a candidate has been tapped by the town’s Republican Committee to fill the vacant seat of a board member who resigned.

A formal vote on the chosen candidate, Republican Scott Ostrander, is planned for the board’s March 1 meeting, according to Lewza, the Milton town supervisor.

The board voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Republican Bruce Couture, who now enters the race for a seat on the Village of Ballston Spa’s governing board. His departure temporarily leaves the Milton town board with four members, all Republicans.

Councilman Couture’s decision represented “a big loss to the town board, and a big loss to the town,” Lewza told a roomful of local residents.

When Lewza asked Couture if he wanted to make any final remarks, Couture suggested—without being specific—that more “transparency” is needed in Milton town government.

In addition to Couture’s resignation, the board voted to accept the resignation of Town Justice John Mancini, a former councilman who was replaced by Couture in 2014.

The town board meeting Wednesday turned contentious when Lewza invited Saratoga Springs developers Thomas and Bruce Boghosian to the podium. That prompted much back-and-forth discussion relating to a drawn-out legal dispute over $14,000 apparently owed to the Boghosian brothers following the construction of townhouses in Milton.

“You do not have a level playing field in this town,” argued Tom Boghosian.

Upon the advice of Town Attorney James Craig, the town board then voted, 3 to 1, to mandate payment of the $14,000 by Heritage Springs Sewer Works within 10 days. Councilman Benny Zlotnick voted against the payment and Councilwoman Barbara Kerr abstained.

When asked to comment on the night’s events, Ostrander, the likely replacement for Couture, declined with a smile. “I’ll start fresh,” he said.

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