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Lazzaro appoints unelected rep to serve as deputy supervisor in Seneca Falls

Seneca Falls Town Supervisor Greg Lazzaro has appointed TJ Casamassima to the position of deputy town supervisor.

Previously a town councilor, Casamassima will serve as deputy supervisor in Supervisor Lazzaro’s absence. Casamassima previously served on the Town Board between 2011 and 2014.

He’s currently a freelance court reporter and a volunteer with the Seneca Falls Fire Department, where he serves as fire police captain; and actively sits on its board of directors.

Lazzaro says that Casamassima’s known by most employees and is familiar with the day-to-day function of the Town. “Mr. Casamassima is well-qualified to assist me, fellow board members, and town employees in daily operation of the Town,” Lazzaro said in a statement.

While Casamassima will not carry a vote on the Town Board or serve in any capacity on the County’s Board of Supervisors – Lazzaro says the two will work closely together over the remainder of his term.

“He will in consultation with me act as the Supervisor in my absence,” Lazzaro added. “He is experienced in town government, and has been mentioned by many in the community, as a leader. He will be a valuable member of the Municipal Government of Seneca Falls.”

The appointment comes after a back-and-forth between the Town Board and Supervisor Lazzaro over the re-appointment of Councilman Lou Ferrara to the deputy supervisor post. Ferrara was originally appointed by Lazzaro two years ago, but after a no confidence vote this summer had his title removed. The Town Board then re-appointed Ferrara after the first dismissal, which caused a secondary stir up between board members and the supervisor.

In September, Ferrara was removed from the post for a second time, leaving it vacant until Monday’s appointment of Casamassima.

Douglas Avery, who is running as a Democrat to become Town Supervisor released the following statement after the appointment:

“It is unfortunate that the Supervisor has decided to do this at all.  He has fired the existing Deputy Supervisor twice, bypassed the rest of the board, and now has asked at least three different individuals to fill the spot. What he hasn’t done is make any attempt to work things out with the other members of the town board.  The concerns that led up to the “No Confidence” vote in August were very serious, and Supervisor Lazzaro hasn’t shown any interest in even acknowledging them, let alone reconciliation.  I have nothing against TJ, but this nomination stems directly from the Supervisor’s unwillingness to work or even communicate with the rest of the board.  These next few weeks will be difficult enough, as we work to prepare the 2020 budget.  This appointment certainly won’t help.  The people of Seneca Falls deserve much better than they’re getting from their current Supervisor.”

– By Josh Durso

Host of Inside the FLX and Sunday Conversation available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Tune-In, and Anchor. Send story ideas, questions, and comments to [email protected].