The Flower Hill Board of Trustees named Brian Herrington as mayor at a meeting on Monday, nearly three weeks after the death of longtime Mayor Robert McNamara.
Herrington, who had been deputy mayor, is running for mayor in the village election that had been scheduled for March and has been postponed until Sept. 15 because of the coronavirus pandemic. He will face off against Trustee Kate Hirsch, who had argued against appointment of a mayor.
The meeting, held via teleconference, opened with a moment of silence in honor of McNamara, who died on April 15, followed by a discussion by the board of appointing a new mayor.
“With Bob’s untimely death, we’re in a situation where the village has a leadership gap without a mayor,” Herrington said. “As deputy mayor if anything ever happened to me, it would take an emergency meeting of the board to select a new mayor, and in that time you’d have no elected officials with the powers of mayor, especially in times of a public health emergency.”
Herrington then moved to nominate himself for mayor. Trustees Jay Beber, Frank Genese, Randall Rosenbaum and Gary Lewandowski all voted for the resolution, while Hirsch abstained from voting.
Hirsch had earlier argued against appointing a new mayor, citing the village election scheduled for Sept. 15 and saying that the law didn’t order a mayor to be appointed. She then moved to nominate Beber for the position of mayor. Beber moved to withdraw his name from consideration.
Lewandowski said that the decision of succession went beyond “election politics.”
“I would just look at it from the point of view of if we had actually had the election in March and if we had lost the mayor after that election, what would we do,” Lewandowski said. “So let’s put all the election politics aside and say, what would we do? I think we’d say definitely, we have to appoint a new mayor to the position.”
Later in the meeting, Herrington appointed Rosenbaum as his deputy mayor.
Running for three open trustee seats on Hirsch’s Liberty Party slate in the September election are newcomers Jay Silverman, Jeffrey Greilsheimer and Diane Turner.
Rosenbaum and Lewandowski are running for trustee on Herrington’s Flower Hill Party slate. McNamara had also been running for trustee. No replacement for his spot on the ballot has been announced.
The Village of Flower Hill’s Board of Trustees will next meet on June 1 at 7:30 p.m. No teleconferencing information has yet been provided.