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Glen Cove City Council forms charter review panel

The Glen Cove City Council plans to create a commission to review the city's charter, an endeavor the mayor said has not been undertaken for almost two decades.

A split council voted 5-2 to create the commission at its Tuesday meeting.

"The charter hasn't been looked at since 1997, and it's just simply a group of people taking a look at it," Mayor Reginald Spinello said.

Spinello said he had no agenda in seeking the review and wanted the commission to be bipartisan. "I don't have anything about the charter that particularly bothers me," he said in response to a question during a public hearing before the vote.The commission will be charged with holding hearings and recommending additions and deletions to the charter. Any changes would require a City Council vote.

The mayor, with the approval of the City Council, will appoint a minimum of nine Glen Cove residents to serve on the commission without pay. Terms will expire at the end of the year in which they are appointed. No potential appointees have been named.

Republican City Councilman Anthony Gallo Jr. voted against creating the commission, criticizing a provision that allows the body to hold hearings behind closed doors. "Let's keep it 100 percent transparent, not 90 percent transparent," he said.

Spinello said the commission's recommendations would be public. "They'll look at it section by section, and if there's something to recommend to us, they'll recommend it," he said.

Gallo, who is running for mayor, has frequently clashed with Spinello, an Independence party member who ran on the Republican line with the city councilman.

Democrat Timothy Tenke voted for the commission.

"I don't see the need for it, however, I don't see the harm in having the commission created to make recommendations," said Tenke, who added that the process would not be done behind closed doors.

Republicans Pamela Panzenbeck and Joseph Capobianco voted for it, as did Democrat Michael Famiglietti and Spinello. Republican Efraim Spagnoletti voted against forming the panel.

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