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Huntington Democrats could appoint Susan Berland successor

Susan Berland’s election to the Suffolk County Legislature last week raised the question of whether the Democratic majority on the Huntington Town Board will seek to appoint her successor before a Republican majority takes over on Jan. 1.

To make such an appointment possible, Berland, a Democrat, would have to resign from the board before the final meeting of the year.

If Democrats take no action, Republicans would be able to appoint a new town board member in January to serve until a special election next November for the year left in Berland’s term.

Mary Collins, Huntington Democratic chairwoman, said she has no position on the issue and that no decision has been made. She said the issue will be discussed at the town Democratic executive committee meeting scheduled for Nov. 21.

Toni Tepe, Huntington Republican chairwoman, called it, “totally disrespectful” to talk about a vacancy that has not yet been created. An appointment by Democrats “would create a very bad taste in voters’ minds,” Tepe said.

— Rick Brand

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