“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.”