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Decision No. 16,980

Appeal of KATHLEEN ALLEN, from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the city of Oswego, regarding an election.

Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, attorneys for respondent, Thomas G. Eron, Esq., of counsel

Decision No. 16,980

(October 18, 2016)

ELIA, Commissioner.--Petitioner seeks an order reversing the decision of the City School District of the City of Oswego (“respondent”) to disqualify her from an election held on May 17, 2016.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner submitted a petition to respondent on or about April 13, 2016 to be placed on the ballot for an election on May 17, 2016.  On April 27, 2016, the district clerk informed petitioner that her petition was disqualified because, after accounting for a duplicate signature, the petition contained only 99 signatures, which fell below the 100 signatures required for such petitions.[1]  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on May 16, 2016.

Petitioner contends that respondent impermissibly delayed review of her petition until April 27, 2016, the last day when petitions were accepted.  Petitioner further argues that her own signature, contained on three of the petitions as carrier of petitions, was a valid signature and should have been counted toward the 100 signature requirement.  Petitioner also challenges the district clerk’s authority to disqualify her petition and the legality of the district’s 100 signature requirement.  Finally, petitioner alleges that all of the petitions for the May 17, 2016 election, including hers, were improperly removed from a district office.  For relief, petitioner seeks reversal of respondent’s disqualification determination so that she may be placed on the ballot for the May 17, 2016 election.

Respondent contends that it acted properly.

The appeal must be dismissed as moot.  The Commissioner will only decide matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exist or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 48 Ed Dept Rep 532, Decision No. 15,940; Appeal of M.M., 48 id. 527, Decision No. 15,937; Appeal of Embro, 48 id. 204, Decision No. 15,836).

Here, petitioner seeks only to be placed on the ballot for an election that took place on May 17, 2016.  Petitioner’s request for an interim order was denied on May 16, 2016.  Consequently, the appeal is moot, mandating dismissal.

I have reviewed petitioner’s remaining contentions and find them to be without merit.




[1] The record does not contain a copy of the petition.