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Hilltowns Archives —The Altamont Enterprise, January 29, 2009

Brick, Mackey vie for town justice seat to be filled in February

By Zach Simeone

WESTERLO — Two town residents are looking to temporarily fill the post of town justice, recently vacated by Joseph Dean. At its regular monthly meeting, rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m., the town board will decide between planning board Chairman Andrew Brick and long-time volunteer Kenneth Mackey for the job.

Whoever is appointed will have to run in November’s election to keep the post. Both are Democrats, in a town where Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 3 to 1.

At a workshop meeting last week, residents had a chance to ask questions of the two about their wanting to take the post, but none were asked.

Town justices in New York State are required to get training after they take office, but no degree is required.

Kenneth Mackey

Mackey has volunteered for the town’s fire department and rescue squad for more than 25 years, and was, at one point, the fire chief. He was also on the committee that helped bring Dr. Myria Emeny to Westerlo, Mackey said. “There was a whole committee of us that found her, including me and my wife,” he said.

Mackey currently works at Hannay Hose Reels. He has run for the position of town justice before, and will run again in November if not appointed at next month’s meeting.

“I’ve always been intrigued by the past town justices and just thought that, if I could ever do something for the town, that would be a job I’d want to do,” Mackey said, though he has no legal experience as of yet.

“If appointed, I vow to do the job to the best of my ability,” Mackey concluded. “This is my second stab at it, and, if I don’t get the position this year, I’ll go for it again next year. That’s how dedicated I am to getting this job.”

Andrew Brick

Brick became planning board chairman after Leonard Laub was removed from his post last year. Brick, too, is one of the town’s volunteer firefighters, and has been practicing law for 13 years, he said.

Now, Brick works as an associate attorney at the Law Office of Donald Zee.

“When I saw the ad, I submitted my name for consideration, because I felt that I would be better able to serve the town in the role of town justice than the role I’m currently in as planning board chair,” Brick said. “While I enjoy the role of planning board chair, I think I could help the town more as town justice. The other planning board members really come together well, and I think they’ll do fine without me,” he said.

As an attorney, Brick has prosecuted over 10,000 cases, he said.

“I was the prosecutor for the town of Coeymans and the village of Ravena, and I would do 60 or 70 cases a night, five nights a month, for three years,” said Brick. “I prosecuted on behalf of the New York State Troopers, Coeymans Police Department, and the village of Ravena police department.”

Brick has also worked as deputy city attorney in Schenectady, as town attorney for Greenville and Rotterdam, and as senior assistant town attorney in Babylon.

“Ultimately, this will be decided by the voters in November,” Brick said. “But, other than Justice [Anthony] Cardona, I’m probably the most qualified person in the town for this job.”

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