Port Washington voters will see only one name – Angela Lawlor-Mullins – on the ballot when voting on Dec. 11 for police commissioner. The decision was determined at a meeting Friday, when the Port Washington police commissioners voted to authorize the ballot for the upcoming election. Lawlor-Mullins, the incumbent, is running for re-election.
Port Washington resident Reed Markham had asked the commissioners to consider extending the Nov. 1 election petition filing date due to Superstorm Sandy. The petition he submitted on Nov. 8 had been returned to him.
The police district charter requires that election petitions be submitted by Nov. 1. However, Executive Order 52 issued by Governor Cuomo immediately after the storm, extended filing deadlines in certain circumstances. That measure raised a question among the commissioners as to whether they are required to extend the filing deadline for the upcoming district election.
After a brief conversation with an attorney in the governor’s office who declined to give an opinion directly related to the election, Stephen Ressa, the attorney for the district, advised the commissioners that in his opinion Executive Order 52 did not apply to the district election, and the filing deadline should not be extended.
Authority to issue such an executive order comes from Executive
Law Sec 29-a, which in parts says that, in a state of emergency, the governor can “temporarily suspend certain provisions" of any statute, local law and more. However, it also provides that the suspension order must specify the statute, local laws, rules and regulations to be suspended.
Ressa said, “Based on the language of Executive Law 29A and the fact that the district election is not specified in Executive Order 52, the commissioners should not extend the filing deadline”.
However, Markham can still stand for election as a write-in candidate.
Voting is scheduled for Dec. 11 from 12-9 p.m. at the Polish American Cultural Association.
This article has been updated with the correct spelling of Reed Markham's name, and the correct time of the election, 12-9 p.m.