The Town of Penfield's elected officials consists of a town supervisor, town board members (4), a town clerk, and town justices (2). Learn more at Consolidated Laws of New York - Town
Current elected officials and responsibilities
The Town Supervisor fills a significant role, serving in several major capacities, including:
Presiding Officer (Chairperson) – The Supervisor is the presiding officer at meetings of the Town Board (NYS Town Law, Section 63).
Town Legislator (Town Board Member) – The Supervisor votes on matters before the Town Board as do all the other board members (NYS Town Law, Sections 60 and 63).
Town Executive and Administrator – After Town Board decisions have been made, it is the Supervisor who often carries out the decisions. The Supervisor usually receives the majority of complaints and suggestions from citizens, as well.
Town Fiscal Officer – The Supervisor is the treasurer of the town and generally represents the Town in the conduct of its financial affairs.
The Town Board of any town may at any time establish the office of Deputy Supervisor. The Deputy Supervisor shall be appointed by the Supervisor to serve at the pleasure of the Supervisor, and in case the office of Supervisor becomes vacant any Deputy Supervisor in office at the time such vacancy occurs shall continue to serve until the successor of such Deputy Supervisor is appointed.
The legislative authority of the town rests in the Town Board, which is the governing board of the town.
The Town Board, among other functions, generally fills vacancies in Town offices, elective or appointive; may select a town attorney and a town engineer; appoints constables or police officers; and provides for the hiring of other employees as necessary for the conduct of the town’s business (Town Law, Sections 20 and 64).
The Town Board adopts a budget, fixes the salaries of officers and employees, establishes rules of board procedure, and designates the official newspaper of the town. Other functions are so numerous that only a sample can be given here. The Town Board may provide for the construction of drainage flood control facilities; provide for towers to be built, at the request of the Department of Environmental Conservation, buy and install traffic control equipment; provide for certain public health services; regulate certain dangerous conditions; sponsor band concerts; compromise or settle claims; call special town elections; license certain occupations; provide for town improvements; establish fire, fire alarm, and fire protection districts; create improvement districts; and designate depositories for town moneys. The general powers of the town board are set forth primarily in Section 64 and other sections of the Town Law.
Most of the functions of the Town Board are set forth in the Town Law. However, some functions are set forth in other statutes such as the General Municipal Law, the Highway Law, the Education Law, the Agriculture and Markets Law, and the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. In addition, town boards may adopt local laws pursuant to the home rule powers granted by Article 9 of the State Constitution and the Municipal Home Rule Law.
The Town Clerk is in charge of most town records, issues certain licenses and permits, files reports with county and state agencies as required, is involved with election administration, posts legal notices, and is, in many ways, a pivot around which the town operates. The Town Clerk is also the clerk of the town board but has no vote.
Town Justices have jurisdiction in criminal and civil matters, and in special proceedings, as conferred by law (Town Law, Section 31; Uniform Justice Court Act). The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) provides a separate publication for Town Justices entitled Handbook for Town and Village Justices and Court Clerks. The handbook, which provides guidance on the reporting and handling offenses, is available online at www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/pubs/jch.pdf.