GLOVERSVILLE - Former 6th Ward Councilman Ray Hindes Jr. is seeking to rescind his resignation and return to the Common Council.
Hindes abruptly resigned last month, and since then, at least five people have expressed interest in the vacant seat. Hindes said this morning he made a hasty decision when he resigned and wants to return to finish his term.
"I've talked to people who were hurt that I resigned and wished I would fill out my term," he said. "I let my emotions run away with me and hastily decided to resign. After thinking more seriously about it, I've decided I should do what I was elected to do and finish my term."
Hindes said several issues contributed to his resignation, including accusations that he purposely coordinated his absence at a special council meeting called by Mayor Dayton King with two other council members - 1st Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth and 4th Ward Councilwoman Ellen Anadio.
In his resignation letter, Hindes said he was ill that day and did not conspire with Wentworth and Anadio to prevent the meeting. The three council members' absence prevented a quorum, and the special meeting was canceled.
"There was just so much that went on so fast. I guess I just let my emotions take over," Hindes said.
Hindes said that since he has rescinded his resignation within 30 days of submitting it, he believes he should be allowed to return to his seat. King said this morning that city labor attorney Bryan Goldberger told him the person who received the resignation - in this case, city clerk Brenda Pedrick - can decide whether to accept the letter rescinding the resignation.
Pedrick said this morning she will seek the council's opinion on whether Hindes should be reinstated.
"The council members are my bosses," she said. "I didn't realize I had that kind of authority. I'm definitely going to ask them to take that power and decide amongst themselves, because I work for them. I wouldn't feel comfortable making any sort of decision about someone who is my boss."
Pedrick said she likes Hindes and gets along well with him but does not feel it is her place to decide whether he should return.
The resignation of former 5th Ward Councilman Matthew Myers occurred under similar circumstances. He resigned in November but remained in his seat until Jan. 1, past the 30-day deadline. He submitted a letter to Brenda Pedrick qualifying his resignation date as Jan. 1.
Local activist Jack Kinzie has questioned the legality of Myers' resignation date, but city attorney Matthew Trainor cited case law that appeared to support Myers' actions. Trainor said in accepting the letter from Myers naming Jan. 1 as his resignation date, Pedrick consented to the change.
King said he anticipates some discussion among the council at a work session tonight about the seat. He said several people have expressed an interest in the seat and he would like to meet with Hindes to evaluate his dedication to the position.
"While he was on the council, he did a good job, but he resigned in haste. It was immediately obvious it wasn't thought out," he said. "I think I want someone, and the city deserves someone, who when the going gets tough, they get going."
King said he wants Hindes to explain why he should be allowed back on the council.
"Convince the city of Gloversville that you aren't going to do this again," King said.
Third Ward Councilman Dirk Myers said he believes Hindes should be subject to the same interview process the other five candidates may go through.
"The process has already started. I think he should be interviewed like everyone else," he said.
Myers said if Hindes is allowed to resign and then take it back, that could affect the integrity of the position.
"You can't do that in your professional life," he said. "You can't be allowed to quit when you want and come back when you want. There has to be some integrity to the process."
The council will meet at 6 p.m. today at City Hall.
Kayleigh Karutis covers Gloversville news. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.