Kennelly will not run for re-election
Updated 4:48 pm, Friday, September 22, 2017
A day after he accused the vice chairman of the Town Plan and Zoning Commission of “acting like the Godfather” and making deals with developers, commission member Jim Kennelly took his name off the the November ballot.
The letter to Town Clerk Betsy Browne, dated Sept. 13, read simply: “Please consider this letter as my resignation as a Democratic Nominee for the TPZ.”
Attempts to reach Kennelly were unsuccessful.
At the Sept. 12 Town Plan and Zoning meeting, a discussion about an application for a transit oriented downtown district turned into a shouting match between Vice Chairman Gerry Alessi, Kennelly, and another commissioner, Seth Baratz.
When Alessi angrily asked Kennelly why he felt the need to “attack everybody every time you speak,” Kennelly shot back, “I’m tired of you intimidating people. We don’t need a godfather on the commission making deals with developers.”
Alessi, a Republican, declined to comment on Kennelly’s withdrawal from the ballot.
This is not the first time Kennelly has questioned Alessi’s motives. During the commission’s consideration of an application from Walgreen’s for property on the Post Road in the Southport section, Kennelly sent an email to Baratz that read, “Just so u are aware — Pat J told Richard J that Gerry convinced her that the property would be an 830g if she didn’t vote for it. So now she’s voting for it.”
During an appeal of the Walgreen’s approval, neighbors attempted to include the Kennelly email as part of their case, but were denied by the judge, who wrote: “Having discovered nothing suggesting any financial impropriety, the plaintiffs seek to highlight a personal relationship between Sherri Steeneck and Commissioner Alessi. This post-hearing use of whispers and innuendo seems designed to discredit Sherri Steeneck and Commissioner Alessi. The only effect of the campaign is to highlight the plaintiffs’ desperate reach for evidence of impropriety where none exists.”
According to Democratic Town Committee Chairman Steve Sheinberg, Kennelly “voluntarily resigned from his position as a Democratic candidate for TPZ.” This week, the DTC nominated Steven Levy to run for Kennelly’s seat.