Kolb Calls for Comptroller Appointment and Reform to State Constitution

January 29, 2007

“With the budget being presented this week, we need to have the new state Comptroller in place immediately,” Kolb said. “The selection panel was a fresh alternative to the usual business of ‘three men in a room’ and we should work off that momentum and make our choice Tuesday.”

Normally the Comptroller is chosen every four years, but a vacancy was made when Alan Hevesi resigned as part of a plea deal in connection with illegally using a state worker as a personal chauffeur for his wife. The state Constitution calls for a new Comptroller to be selected by the Legislature to serve out the remainder of the vacated term; in this case just less than four years.

But Assemblyman Kolb believes this system is antiquated and he is calling for a new method of filling such a vacancy, by means of a special election.

“The next step to take is to do away with the current method of appointment and opt for a special election in the event of a vacancy of either state Comptroller or Attorney General. I am supporting such a measure in the call for greater accountability because someone in such an office should always be beholden to the voters instead of politicians.”

Such a change would require a constitutional amendment, which Kolb acknowledges may take some time, but he notes the accountability that would come from such a change would be “well worth the discussion and debate. Therefore I am going to work with my legislative colleagues to advocate for this reform.”