A growing back and forth takes center stage at a special meeting of the Erie County Board of Elections on Friday.

At issue is whether or not candidates who intend to run for office should remain on the board. Several Erie County residents also voiced concerns over whether or not those intending to run for office can remain on the Erie County Board of Elections.

One resident said he’s disappointed by some of the board members’ actions.

“Anyone who is intending to run for county council should not be participating in the board of elections. That is a clear, not so much a conflict of interest, but certainly an appearance of a conflict of interest,” said Sam Talerico, Erie County resident.

Erie County Council Chairman Brian Shank disagrees. His term on the council ends in the fall of 2023 and hasn’t announced whether he’s running again or not.

Shank also disagrees with Erie County Council Solicitor Tom Talerico.

“When is a candidate a candidate? I don’t know, I’m not a lawyer. You heard Tom Talerico give a few pointers. I disagree with a majority of what he said because the state is saying something totally different,” said Brian Shank, chairman, Erie County Council.

Other county council members who have announced their candidacy for reelection did not attend the meeting.

“Councilwoman Rennie and councilman Scutella were not here today because they recused themselves from the entire election board meeting. That was the appropriate thing to do,” Shank added.

Also at Friday’s special meeting, a new chairman was appointed and said he’s confident for the year ahead.

“We’ll be transparent. We’re going to make sure to the best of our ability that we get things right, that’s important. I know there were some ideas this year — we’ve put some new policies in place,” said Charlie Bayle, chair of the Erie County Board of Elections.

Bayle added that the board will soon need to determine when a potential candidate can no longer serve on the board of elections.