Friday, July 2, 2021

News You Have to Read in the Register-Star

Years of watching 
The West Wing taught me that Friday was the day the White House released negative stories to the press, in the hope they would go unnoticed. I was reminded of this when I learned that today, on a Friday before a long holiday weekend, the news was released that Alderman Calvin Lewis (Third Ward), who is now also assistant director of the Youth Department, has resigned his position as alderman "to avoid conflict of interest": "Lewis resigns from Common Council." 

According to the article, "Lewis will have to be replaced before the end of the year, and the council will hold a special meeting to discuss its next steps." Presumably, Lewis will also have to be replaced as a candidate for Third Ward alderman on the ballot in November. According to information provided by John Kane in a comment on this blog, Lewis's replacement on the ballot will be determined by a committee made up of Emily Chameides, Kate Treacy, and Kamal Johnson.


  1. Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Who’s on that committee again?! Hahahahaha! How low the 3W has sunk: a near criminal alderman slinking off into the swamp while patronage determines a replacement. Remember when the voters in an affected ward selected their replacement reps? Why it was almost a decade ago when we had to do this last. Too long for the addled memories of our “leaders” to remember I guess. Addled. Leaders.

    1. Actually, we had to do this last in March 2015 when First Ward alderman David Marston resigned because he had taken a job in Minnesota. The First Ward gathered and in a straw poll elected Rick Rector to succeed Marston. The Council honored the voters' wishes and elected Rector alderman.

      Something similar happened in the First Ward three years earlier when Nick Haddad was chosen by voters in the First Ward to replace Larissa Parks, who resigned after serving as alderman for only two months.

      The Council's "next steps" are clearly outlined in the city charter, Section C3-6. The Common Council elects a replacement at a special meeting, which must take place no sooner than 10 days and no more than 20 days after an alderman resigns. The successful candidate must be elected by a simple majority of the Council. Any Third Ward resident can express interest in being considered for the position.

  2. Carole, none of this would result in Mr. Lewis's being removed as a candidate on the ballot for this November's election. He may, perhaps, refuse to take office in January if he is elected in November, but nothing that has happened would allow him to be taken off the ballot. Ken Dow, Commissioner of Elections.

    1. Thank you for the clarification, Ken. Has the law changed? I seem to recall in the past--and this goes back a few years--a candidate could withdraw and remove their name from the ballot up until sometime in August.

    2. Ken, correct me if I'm wrong, but the last date to decline a nomination was March 29th, three days after the last date to file a designating petition. Carole, you're probably remembering the years when the local primary was held in September and the last date to decline was therefore later than it is currently, although it's always three days after petition filing date, which then was in July.

    3. Below is what appears to be the relevant portion of the election law related to vacancies.

      Candidates specify a Committee to Fill Vacancies on the petitions, or at least are supposed to; sometimes this gets left blank.

      I suspect that is where the names for a three-person committee to choose Lewis’s replacement (cited above) came from, though that may well be incorrect — by me, or by the person’s advancing that theory.

      It is not obvious that such a Committee still has the power to act here, because this does not appear to involve a timely declination, or a disqualification (and certainly not death).

      The one gray area might be in the definition of “disqualification.” I don’t see that term spelled out in the section below. Perhaps there is some common legal understanding of the term implied by the law, but I’m unaware of it.

      I’d tend to assume this refers to disqualification *by the Board of Elections,* or a court, not by the candidate himself, the Common Council, the Hudson Democratic Committee, or some other body lacking authority over the CCBOE.

      Section 6-148
      Nomination and designation; filling vacancies

      1. A vacancy in a designation or nomination caused by declination, where a declination is permitted by this article, or by the death or disqualification of the candidate, or by a tie vote at a primary, may be filled by the making and filing of a certificate, setting forth the fact and cause of the vacancy, the title of the office, the name of the original candidate, if any, and the name and address of the candidate newly designated or nominated.

      2. A vacancy in a designation or independent nomination, or in a party nomination made otherwise than at a primary, may be filled by a majority of the committee to fill vacancies shown upon the face of the petition or certificate of the designation or nomination in which the vacancy occurs.

      3. A vacancy in a nomination made at a primary, or by a tie vote thereat, may be filled by a majority of the members, of the party committee or committees last elected in the political subdivision in which the vacancy occurs, present at a meeting at which there is a quorum, or by a majority of such other committee as the rules of the party may provide.

      4. If the vacancy be filled by a committee named in a petition or certificate of nomination, the new certificate shall be signed by a majority of such committee; if filled by any other committee, it shall be signed by the presiding officer and secretary of the committee. Appended to the certificate shall be the affidavit of the persons signing the certificate that they were a majority of such committee, or such officers, as the case may be, and that the statements in such certificate are true.

      5. The certificate designating a person to fill a vacancy in a designation or nomination shall have appended thereto his written consent to be so designated or nominated, duly acknowledged.

      6. When a certificate of a new designation or nomination shall be filed with the state board of elections after such board has given official notice, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, to the several boards of elections, of the names to appear on the ballot at the election to which such new designation or nomination applies, such board shall forthwith certify to the proper board of elections the name of the person designated or nominated by such certificate and such other facts as are required to be stated therein.

  3. Calvin, from one conflict of interest to another. Until recently he worked for Galvan. In the third ward, at 7th and State, we have had an eyesore of a demolition site of the former orphan asylum FOR 27 MONTHS, including piles of bricks, overgrown vegetation, graffiti, large fencing and lovely concrete barriers, thanks to Galvan. Calvin was made aware of it by me at least twice. Never heard back from him once. Let's hope his replacement is somewhat responsive and not at all tied to Galvan. Bill Huston

    1. Methinks thou dost have high expectations.