ARMONK, N.Y. – The North Castle Town Board will vote Wedneday night on whether or not North Castle will remain part of the Association of Towns of the State of New York.
North Castle Town Supervisor Howard Arden is hesitant on paying membership dues of $650 to an association whose employee is currently costing the town more than $21,000.
Former North Castle Town Board member Gerald Geist, now the executive director of the Association of Towns, leads that lawsuit, which was filed in October. Geist is among a group suing the town for eliminating health benefits for elected officials.
While the Association of Towns of New York itself is not affiliated with the lawsuit, Arden suggests Geist's current position with the association represents a conflict of interest.
“I have issues paying dues to an organization whose executive director is costing us over $20,000,” said Arden. “Further more, suing a town they support goes directly against their constitution.”
Arden is referring to the Association’s "Purposes" section of their constitution, which reads: “The Association shall act as an agency of the towns of this State in which devising practical ways and means for obtaining greater economy and efficiency in the government thereof.”
“We’ll see how the rest of the board feels about leaving the association, but I do not want to be part of an organization that is suing a town that it’s trying to help prosper,” said Arden.
If North Castle does leave the Association of Towns, Arden said the fallout would be a symbolic matter more than anything else, as it only would cost the town an extra $25 to participate in their training courses and town functions as a non-member.
The Town Board will make its decision Wednesday, at 7:30 p.m. in the North Castle Town Hall.