Glen Cove Mayor Timothy Tenke Tuesday swore in Donna McNaughton to a seat on the city council, after he and other council members voted 6-0 to appoint her.
Tenke called McNaughton “a great candidate for the council” and said he appointed her earlier this year as chairwoman of the zoning board of appeals because “I knew you were a capable person ... and you’re dedicated to whatever task you are put to.”
McNaughton, an attorney, replaces Michael Zangari, who resigned Nov. 20 for health reasons.
McNaughton said in an interview after the meeting that she wants to first “immerse myself in everything” before discussing policy priorities.
“I want to do what’s fair, I want to do what’s in the best interests of the community and the residents of Glen Cove,” she said.
Tenke, a Democrat, said even though he supported McNaughton, a Republican, the process for her nomination was “flawed.”
Moments after Clerk Tina Pemberton read Zangari's resignation letter during the Nov. 20 council work session, Republican Councilman Joseph Capobianco announced he would nominate McNaughton to replace him. Zangari is a Conservative who ran on the GOP line.
Tenke said during Tuesday’s meeting that “I’m sure the selection did not happen overnight yet I was not given the courtesy of being informed of this important matter before it was announced at a public meeting.”
Resident Daniela Crocchiola said, “It seems like this is turning into a very undemocratic process.”
Capobianco said he and other council members learned of Zangari’s plans to resign several days before the Nov. 20 meeting and that he interviewed at least seven potential candidates before proposing McNaughton.
“The mayor didn’t propose anybody,” even after the council voted on Nov. 27 to delay a vote on McNaughton at Tenke’s request, Capobianco said.
Tenke said the nomination process “should have been a group effort” and said he would push for a change to the city charter — which he said is not clear on how council nominations are made — to make it more of a “consensus” process.
“That forces people to discuss the matter before making decisions,” he said.