MONTICELLO — Standing on the steps of the Lawrence H. Cooke Sullivan County Courthouse on Monday, four members of the county legislature called on Legislature Chairman Rob Doherty to resign. …
MONTICELLO — Standing on the steps of the Lawrence H. Cooke Sullivan County Courthouse on Monday, four members of the county legislature called on Legislature Chairman Rob Doherty to resign.
Citing poor communication and disregard for procedure by Doherty over the past one and a half years, the bipartisan group asked for their fellow legislators to join them in calling for Doherty's resignation, and if not, for steps to be taken to remove him as Chair.
“This isn't about Democrats or Republicans, this is about what's right for our community,” Legislator Joe Perrello said.
Perrello, a Republican, was joined by Democrats Nadia Rajsz, Ira Steingart and Luis Alvarez. The legislature is a Republican majority 6-3.
In response, Doherty said that they frequently have poor communication by not responding in a timely fashion and not holding office hours.
“They're just not being honest,” he said. “In order to have open and honest discussions, both sides need to be honest.”
In recent months, some legislators have bickered at meetings, and Doherty has clashed with fellow legislators and the public.
A special meeting was called last Friday, but some legislators said they weren't able to make it.
Rajsz said the meeting was originally scheduled for Thursday at 9:30 a.m., which is the time when legislature meetings are usually held (although a regular meeting was not being held that day).
She said the meeting was then changed without polling them to see their availability. She said she tried to connect to the meeting via Zoom but was unable to do so. Because she was not on video, she was disallowed from voting.
Alvarez said he was traveling from Westchester during that time and wasn't able to login.
Doherty said that he emailed the legislators about the meeting but they did not respond until a day or two later, which had to move the meeting to Friday in order to give 48 hours notice.
Further, he said, the meeting was called because some of the resolutions needed to be acted on quickly, such as hiring nurses for the county's nursing home.