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January 4, 2013

Jones chosen Franklin County chair

MALONE — Chateaugay Democrat Billy Jones was elected chairman of the Franklin County Legislature Thursday after a little drama.

Routinely, a chairman is nominated by the majority party of the board and voted on, with all seven members typically agreeing on the choice.

But for the first time in the County Legislature’s history, a second candidate was nominated for chair: Republican Paul Maroun of Tupper Lake.

Legislator Marc “Tim” Lashomb (R-Malone) made the nomination, which was seconded by Republican Legislator Sue Robideau (R-Brushton).

ROLL-CALL VOTE

Legislator Guy “Tim” Smith (D-Fort Covington), who was acting as temporary chairman of the board for the election, leaned toward County Attorney Jonathan Miller, saying, ‘We’ve never had this happen. What do we do?”

Miller said the legislators should vote, and Smith offered Jones’s name up first.

In a roll-call vote, Jones was elected by a vote of 4-2, with one ballot not cast due to Maroun’s absence.

“We have four votes, so Billy Jones is our next chairman,” Smith said.

CHALLENGES

Jones, 38, is in the final year of a three-year term as legislator. He is a correction officer at Bare Hill Correctional Facility in Malone and has been with the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for 16 years.

He said being named chairman was “a great honor that I don’t want to take lightly. We have a great group of individuals, and we work great together.

“There’s nothing wrong with Franklin County that can’t be fixed by Franklin County, and this board has proven that.”

He admitted there are challenges ahead that “we will meet as long, as we’re honest with our constituents. I’m very confident.”

OTHER POSTS

Outgoing Chairman Gordon Crossman (D-Malone) was selected as vice chairman by a vote of 6-0, with one absence.

Maroun was named minority leader, and Smith was named majority leader.

Email Denise A. Raymo: draymo@pressrepublican.com

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