The Glen Cove City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to delay naming a replacement for former Councilman Michael Zangari, who resigned last week, citing a medical condition.
Councilman Joseph Capobianco proposed making an appointment. At the last pre-council meeting, he suggested zoning board chair Donna McNaughton as a viable replacement, and she attended Tuesday night’s meeting.
Mayor Tim Tenke had abstained from a quick confirmation of McNaughton so other people could be considered. “I was looking at one other person as well,” he told the Herald Gazette.
According to the city charter, “If a vacancy shall occur in any elective office of the city, the mayor and City Council shall appoint a person to fill such vacancy until the next general election.” At Tenke’s request, however, the appointment was tabled until a later date. “I asked for some time to go over a few things,” he said on Tuesday, “and one of the things was a written opinion on a certain item that the city attorney had provided to me today.”
Capobianco voted to hold off on appointing a replacement right away, “as an accommodation and out of respect” for the mayor, he said. “The mayor requested two weeks, and I’m happy to comply,” Capobianco added.
Tenke handpicked McNaughton to chair the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals at the start of his term. He acknowledged that she was a “very good choice” to fill Zangari’s seat, but said that such a decision requires more than a week’s consideration. “A council seat is a very important seat,” Tenke said, “and we want to make sure that when we do have an opportunity like this where you’re going to appoint somebody, you take all the proper time and effort and thought before you make that decision.”
Some residents agreed with Capobianco’s choice. “I’ve known Donna for a while now, and when I was on the zoning board she appeared before me,” said Drew Lawrence, a former zoning board member. “There’s nothing wrong with Donna McNaughton.”
Resident Glenn Howard commended the city’s appointments of chairs for both its planning and zoning boards. “You’ve had some very good people chairing your planning commission and your Board of Zoning Appeals,” he said, citing McNaughton. “Frankly, I could object to moving her to the City Council, but she’s done such a good job on the zoning board, got it even more organized than it has been, and it runs very smoothly. I think any place she is will be a benefit to the city.”
Members of the City Council will review potential candidates for Zangari’s seat at the next pre-council meeting on Dec. 4. According to Tenke, an appointment will be made the following week. “I would say it’s going to be before the new year,” he said.