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Executive Committee 

Employment Relations:  The Employment Relations Committee addresses issues related to labor and employment law, personnel policies, civil service and collective bargaining in the public sector.

Mission Statement:  The mission of the Employment Relations Committee is to increase the understanding of its members as well as the Municipal Law Section of issues and development related to labor and employment law, personnel policies, civil service and collective bargaining in the public sector, and to provide a forum for private and in-house practitioners and counsel to exchange ideas, information and experiences.

Committee Chair
Sharon N. Berlin
snb@lambbarnosky.com

Ethics and Professionalism:  This committee address issues such as statutory conflicts of interest, gifts to public officials, local ethics codes and boards of ethics, appearances of impropriety, lobbying acts, and Rule of Professional Conduct specific to municipal attorneys and practice.

Mission Statement: Municipal attorneys face a bewildering array of ethics provisions governing the conduct of municipal officers and employees, scattered throughout the consolidated laws and beyond.  In addition, the Code of Professional Conduct contains unique rules for those attorneys who work for municipalities.  The Ethics and Professionalism Committee focuses on educating Section members about these various provisions and proposing changes to improve them.  In particular, the Committee provides guidance on crafting local ethics laws that offer municipal officials a comprehensive and sensible ethics system that will assist them in avoiding actual and perceived conflicts of interest.

Committee Co-Chairs
Mark Davies
davies@coib.nyc.gov

Steven Leventhal
sleventhal@lcmslaw.com

Finance Committee:  Chaired by the Treasurer and including interested Section members, this committee addresses matters relating to the finances of the Section. 

Land Use, Green Development and Environmental This committee addresses such matters as SEQRA, zoning and planning, federal clean air/clean water acts, and RLUIPA. The Committee also examines ways municipalities can encourage, through legislation or incentives, sustainable design of structures, increased energy efficiency and reduced impact on scarce resource resources. 

Mission Statement: The committee aims to assist municipalities, developers and other land use professionals with planning, zoning and additional land use and environmental issues, including addressing new legislation and case law, with the goal of reducing the use of natural resources and energy, limiting environmental damage, and adopting programs and regulations that promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, water use efficiency, and waste reduction by residents and businesses.

Committee Co-Chairs
Lisa M. Cobb
lcobb@srddlaw.com

Daniel A. Spitzer
dspitzer@hodgsonruss.com

Membership and Diversity Committee This committee works to develop the Section’s membership, strengthen its diversity, and evaluate and improve the Section’s services to its members. 

Committee Co-Chairs
A. Thomas Levin
atl@atlevin.com

Nichelle A. Johnson

Taxation, Finance and Economic Development: This committee addresses issues such as real property taxation, real property assessments and grievances, exemptions and tax cap.  

Committee Co-Chairs
Michael Kenneally
mkenneally@nytowns.org

Ken Bond
kenneth.bond@squiresanders.com

Municipal Counsel:  This new committee is aimed at Section members who are attorneys for municipal entities or serve in a similar capacity either in house or in private practice.  This committee will address issues such as advising local boards, drafting local laws, procurement, and open meetings and FOIL.

Mission Statement: The Municipal Counsel Committee advocates the interests of attorneys who represent municipal governments as either in house employees or in private practice by: (a) providing a congenial forum and network system sharing strategies, practices and procedures to address common legal and administrative issues, concerns and challenges faced in day to day municipal governance; and (b) coordinating activities and efforts to represent the interests of member municipal attorneys in cases and legislation of Statewide impact.

Committee Co-Chairs
E. Thomas Jones
etjlaw@roadrunner.com

Jeannette Koster
jkoster@yorktownny.org

Carol L. Van Scoyoc
cvanscoyoc@whiteplainsny.gov

State and Federal Constitutional LawThis committee is primarily designed to keep Section members abreast of developments in State and federal constitutional law.  Public officials frequently deal with issues arising out of the first amendment (employee speech, prayers/ invocations at board meetings, holiday displays), equal protection and due process (use of public facilities/changing benefits/salary).  It would also be the committee to address issues arising under the New York State Constitution, such as separation of powers, home rule and the like.    

Mission Statement: An understanding of the ever-evolving body of state and federal constitutional law is essential for attorneys advising municipal governments and officials, as well as to those who represent private parties in dealings with municipalities. Constitutional issues that are paramount in municipal practice include those arising out of: (i) the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the corresponding state constitutional guarantee; (ii) the equal protection, due process, and takings clauses of the federal and state constitutions; and (iii) Article 8 and 9 of the state constitution, which pertain to municipal finances and taxation and the rights and home rule powers of localities. The mission of this Committee is to keep Municipal Law section members informed about developments in state and federal constitutional law as they relate to municipal practice and to provide a forum through which section members can discuss such issues.

Committee Co-Chairs
Committee Chair
Sharon N. Berlin
snb@lambbarnosky.com

Adam L. Wekstein
a.wekstein@htwlegal.com

Liability and Insurance:  Many of the Section’s members represent parties in personal injury litigation involving municipalities, the subject addressed by this committee.

Committee Chair
Michael Kenneally
mkenneally@nytowns.org

Legislation Committee: This committee is primarily designed to keep Section members aware of developments in Legislation.

Committee Chair
A. Joseph Scott, III
ascott@hodgsonruss.com