At a special meeting held today, the Amsterdam Common Council voted 3-1 to appoint Arthur Iannuzzi as third ward alderman in place of Chad Majewski who resigned from the position in June. Fourth Ward Alderman Rodney Wojnar cast the no vote.
At the beginning of the meeting, City Clerk Laura Barquero read a letter from the City of Amsterdam Democratic Committee which reiterated support for Irene Collins as the party’s choice for the position, citing her previous experience as deputy controller for the City of Mount Vernon.
The city’s charter requires the council to appoint a replacement from the same political party, and in the past, has followed the official recommendation of the party. Last year, the council voted to appoint Bill Baaki as recommended by the Montgomery County Republican Committee, to the position of first ward alderman after the passing away of Ed Russo.
The letter stated, “It is a time honored tradition that when vacancies occur that are partisan in nature, that a designation of an appointee comes from the party leadership.”
Last month, Fifth Ward Alderman Jim Martuscello, also a Democrat, said he would back Iannuzzi over Collins, citing disagreement with the party’s search sub-committee’s decision making process.
Party officials, including Kelly Quist-Demars, who was the chairperson for the City of Amsterdam Democratic Committee during the decision making process, said Collins had “overwhelming” support from the party and that every effort was made to include Martuscello in the decision making process.
Commenting on his no vote after the meeting, Wojnar said the appointment “wasn’t the best choice” for the city.
“[Collins’] experience that she has with the [deputy] controller’s position, would have helped greatly, I just think that’s the right way to go,” he added.
After the meeting, Iannuzzi said he is “honored” to have been appointed and felt the party’s decision to back Collins was “arbitrary” and not reflective of the entire party.
Iannuzzi previously served as alderman from 1996 to 2000 and has served on the city’s zoning board of appeals. He said he has prior business experience in computer technology for governments, especially for public safety buildings and currently works as an independent consultant. In a previous interview, he said he is prepared to run in the upcoming special election this November for the position.