Cayuga County has a new clerk of the Legislature. Last night by a weighted majority vote, legislators chose not to reappoint Mary Jones as the clerk of the Legislature. Instead, officials appointed Deputy Clerk Sheila Smith to the position. The Legislature stood divided 7 to 7 on the issue.
According to the Auburn Citizen, Joe Bennett's inability to vote proved crucial to the decision. Bennett, a Democrat, is a Cayuga Community College maintenance employee. Because the Legislature votes on the college budget, Republican legislators took legal action last year challenging whether he can serve on the Legislature and be employed by the college at the same time.
Since then, Bennett has been excused from voting until the issue can be resolved. District 2--which covers the towns of Cato, Ira and Conquest--lawmaker Mike Chapman was named the new Legislative Chairman.