OGDENSBURG — Unless someone files a lawsuit, the ballot for the four City Council seats up for election in Ogdensburg will remain as is.
As it is, there are three contested seats on the City Council. Incumbents Timothy Davis, a Democrat; Jennifer Stevenson, a Democrat; and David G. Price, a Republican, will face Republicans William B. Dillabough and Steven M. Fisher in an at-large race.
City Councilman Michael B. Powers is running unopposed to fill the remaining time on a seat vacated by former Councilor Shawn R. Shaver, who resigned from his elected position in February after some council members questioned his residency status following word he had sold his home in the city and purchased a property in the town of Lisbon. Mr. Powers was appointed to fill the seat until the next election.
Jeffery M. Skelly and John A. Rishe, who have launched a write-in campaign for mayor and city council, respectively, contend that all four council seats should be one race.
Ogdensburg City Manager Sarah Purdy said that the city attorney has sent a letter to the county election commissioners stating that since four members of City Council have conflicts of interest in the election they can’t reach a quorum and do not have the ability to make a decision.
Republican St. Lawrence County Election Commissioner Thomas A. Nichols said that the letter was in the hands of the county attorney and that the Board of Elections believes the ballot is correct and barring a lawsuit it would not change.
Mr. Skelly was disappointed in the decision and was not certain what he and Mr. Rishe would do.
“It’s just unfortunate when people can’t settle things themselves and have to go to a court,” he said. ‘It’s like we can’t use our own common sense.”
Mr. Skelly said city officials should pick a side.
“The city should at least say, ‘We would like it (the City Charter) to be followed,’” he said. “Or say, ‘We don’t think it matters.’ At least put yourself out there.”
The ballot is due to be finalized on Sept. 12.