Mayor Ann Thane filed a lawsuit with the Montgomery County NY Supreme Court on Thursday, March 13, 2014. The suit names all the members of the Amsterdam Common Council as well as the controller and golf pro Joe Merendo.
The lawsuit asks for several judgements to be made:
- That the contract negotiated by the common council for Merendo and subsequently signed by 4th Ward Alderwoman and Deputy Mayor Diane Hatzenbuhler be declared null and void.
- That the controller would be prohibited from making any payments to Merendo. (Previously, Controller Matthew Agresta had said he would not make any payments as long as the contract was in dispute.)
- That a proposed ordinance that would change Chapter 28 of the city code to restructure the golf commission be declared null and void. The proposed ordinance is listed on the agenda for the March 18th common council meeting.
- That the actions of the common council would be declared illegal under CPLR Article 78
- That a temporary restraining order would be issued to prevent the common council from executing any further contracts and from enacting the proposed changes to the golf commission.
According to Mayor Thane, the restraining order was signed by Judge Joseph M. Sise.
The proposed changes to the golf commission include:
- The requirement that four of the six members of the commission (including a non-voting alderman) would be appointed by the common council, while the remaining two would be appointed by the mayor.
- That all members of the commission would be city residents and dues paying members of the golf course.
- That expenses would be approved by the common council, rather than by the Director of Recreation.
Also on the March 18th agenda is a resolution that would prohibit the city from paying any bills from Goldman Attorneys PLLC, who is representing Mayor Thane, citing the council’s disagreement with the firm’s legal opinion on the council’s actions. The current city budget has a line for outside legal counsel.