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January 7, 2014

Douglas back as Essex County leader

ELIZABETHTOWN — Five new lawmakers stepped up Monday to be sworn in to the Essex County Board of Supervisors.

Shaun Gillilland (R-Willsboro), William Grinnell (R-Ticonderoga), Stephen McNally (D-Minerva), Edward Gardner (I-Essex) and Noel Merrihew III (R-Elizabethtown) were all sworn in to their county offices by County Clerk Joseph Provoncha as the county’s 215th organizational session got underway in the Old County Courthouse.

All five of them defeated incumbents in the November general election to secure seats on the Board of Supervisors.

Once seated, the 17 members of the Board of Supervisors who were present unanimously elected Randy Douglas (D-Jay) to an unprecedented fifth term as chairman.

The only supervisor not at the session was George Canon (R-Newcomb), who had heart surgery at Glens Falls Hospital early Monday morning.

PRAISE FOR DOUGLAS

County officials said records going back to the 1960s show no chairman since then has ever served more than three one-year terms.

Supervisor Gerald Morrow (D-Chesterfield) nominated Douglas for the honor.

“Randy has shown Essex County residents he has the caliber to stand up for people in his county. He has weathered many disasters,” he said. “I look forward to serving with Randy for another year.”

Supervisor Ronald Moore (R-North Hudson) seconded Morrow’s motion.

“He has overcome enormous challenges during his time in office,” Moore said. “I know of no person more hardworking, more dedicated.”

CHALLENGES

After he was sworn in as chairman, Douglas delivered the annual State of the County address.

“Over the last four years, we as a Board of Supervisors have been faced with many issues, including the closing and rebuilding of the Champlain Bridge, the fight to save Moriah Shock (Incarceration Facility), many declared disasters, including numerous floods, power outages, communications outages, ice jams, and ice storms, to name a few,” he said. “(Tropical Storm) Irene topped it all off, and because of what we’ve learned from that trying time we with our emergency services on the county level and in each of our towns, are so much better prepared, that nothing fazes us anymore.”

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