ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — In a special meeting on Thursday, The Chemung County Legislature gathered in Elmira to overturn a veto set in place by County Executive Chris Moss, and give eight legislatures a 4% salary increase for 2023, but was it legal?
The veto comes after a 0% increase in wages was suggested by Chris Moss for elected officials in the proposed budget back in November. On the other hand, the Legislature recommended a 4% increase in wages for elected officials.
The Legislature passed Local Law No. 5, giving the elected officials a 4% wage increase, Moss then vetoed the local law.
The special meeting held at 2 p.m. on Thursday passed the veto override after a closed-door executive session and a final public vote by the legislatures, but information gathered by the Chemung County Attorney’s Office says the legislature didn’t act legally with the override.
In a message sent to Cindy Kalweit, the Chemung County Legislature Clerk, the Chemung County Attorney, M. Hyder Hussain, states, “I am writing to inform you that procedurally the County Legislature today(Dec. 29) cannot override the County Executive’s veto of Local Law No. 5 for the year 2022 in a Special meeting.”
Hussain explained that in order for the override to count the County Legislature needs to bring up the objections at the next regular meeting, and not a special meeting.
“There is a distinct prohibition against the clerk of the legislative body presenting the vetoed law at any meeting but the next regular meeting,” Hussain said. “If the legislative body convenes a special meeting to receive the executive’s veto and to override that veto, the law is not legally adopted,” he said, in accordance to Barile v. City Comptroller of City of Utica, 56 Misc. 2d 190, 288 N.Y.S. 2d 191.
The next regular scheduled full meeting by the legislature is set to take place on Monday, Jan. 9.