VILLAGE LAW, §4-400(1)(a): A village trustee who is also
deputy mayor does not vote both in his or her capacities as
trustee and deputy mayor during the absence or inability of the
You ask whether a village trustee, when serving as deputy mayor during the absence or inability of the mayor to attend a meeting of the board of trustees, may cast two votes, one in his or her capacity as trustee and the other in his or her capacity as deputy mayor.
Village Law, §4-400(1)(h) makes it the responsibility of the village mayor to appoint a member of the board of trustees as deputy mayor. The deputy mayor, "during the absence or inability of the mayor, is vested with all the powers and may perform all the duties of the mayor" (see also, Public Officers Law, §9). The mayor presides at meetings of the board of trustees, "and may have a vote upon all matters and questions coming before the board and he shall vote in case of a tie, however on all matters and questions, he shall vote only in his capacity as mayor of the village and his vote shall be considered as one vote" (Village Law, §4-400[a] [emphasis added]).
The quoted paragraph from section 4-400(1)(a) is identical to language in section 88 of the former Village Law. In Anson v Starr, 198 Misc 982, 101 NYS2d 948, the court considered the question of whether, under former Village Law, §88, a village trustee who also was the "acting village mayor" could vote both as trustee and acting mayor on the filling of a vacancy in the position of mayor.
Relying on the underscored language quoted above, the court stated that:
The court held, therefore, that a trustee serving as acting mayor had but one vote and could not vote both in his capacity as trustee and in his capacity as acting mayor. We note that the title to the position of "acting village mayor" was re-designated as "deputy village mayor" by chapter 60 of the Laws of 1966.
Accordingly, based on the foregoing, we conclude that a village trustee who is also the deputy mayor does not vote both in his or her capacity as trustee and deputy mayor during the absence or inability of the mayor (see also 14 Opns St Comp, 1958, p 210; 21 Opns St Comp, 1965, p 486; 1969 Atty Gen [Inf Opns] 124).
October 16, 1990