In a joint session of the Assembly and state Senate, Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R,C,I –Canandaigua) voiced his support for the reform process by voting for Martha Stark, the only candidate chosen from the Independent Review Panel, to be New York State’s next Comptroller.
Kolb expressed his respect for DiNapoli, acknowledging his experience and wished him well, however, stated that he was frustrated that the process was circumvented:
“There’s a process (to select the next Comptroller) that we agreed to follow, and my vote is cast in the spirit of that reform,” said Kolb from the Assembly floor. “I believe Ms. Stark has the qualifications for the job, and while I wished Tom DiNapoli was one of the candidates to come out of the process, I want the record to show that my vote is for Martha Stark and reform.”
Once the final vote was taken, Tom DiNapoli was chosen Comptroller with 151 votes to Martha Stark’s 54. In light of this, Assemblyman Kolb and leaders of his Conference are renewing the call for a constitutional amendment, which would ultimately leave the choice in the hands of the voters.
Under this plan, the State Constitution would be changed to provide that the governor appoint an interim comptroller or attorney general who would serve only until the next general election. In that election, voters would elect a person to serve out the remainder of the unexpired term. The office would then be up for a vote again in the same year as the next election for governor.
“By amending the constitution and changing the system, we circumvent backroom decision-making by allowing the people of New York State to choose.”