By LOHR McKINSTRY
---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — Jay Town Supervisor Randy Douglas is seeking a fourth term as chairman of the Essex County Board of Supervisors.
Douglas, who has served three one-year terms in the position, said he discussed it with his family and town staff and feels it’s the best thing to do.
“Although they feel I am just being a glutton for punishment, I have all their blessings. I believe my experiences and my close contacts in both Washington (D.C.) and Albany, including my personal friendship with Governor (Andrew) Cuomo, will continue to be an asset to all of Essex County.”
The current vice chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba), has declined to run for another term in that post, and Supervisor William Ferebee (R-Keene) has announced his candidacy for vice chair.
“My friend and colleague, Bill Ferebee, will be my running mate,” Douglas (D-Jay) said. “I certainly will miss Supervisor Politi’s wisdom and support, as he has been a wonderful vice chairman and friend these past three years.”
Douglas said he feels Ferebee would make a fine vice chairman.
“Supervisor Ferebee and I did not know each other before becoming town supervisors, I in 2004 and Bill in 2006. However, we have worked very closely on many issues that we have faced in our townships and all of Essex County. We have worked side by side to help the towns of Keene and Jay recover from the effects of Hurricane Irene.”
He and Ferebee have become friends in the process, Douglas said.
“As you can see over the last few weeks (of budget talks), we don’t always agree. However, one thing his family and my family know (is) that our difference in positions while serving the people of Essex County will never ruin our friendships.”
Douglas said he believes the Board of Supervisors is headed in the right direction.
“All of us currently serving as town supervisors in Essex County are always doing or voting what we truly believe is in the best interest of Essex County through these trying times. I know we have some very tough decisions to make ahead of us, but I assure you I am up for the challenge.”
As chairman, he has faced a lot of controversy, Douglas said.
“I must admit I have never been accustomed to such criticism, as I’ve always strived to please everyone. However, I have realized in this business keeping everyone happy is impossible. I will never quit trying, I will tell you, but I also must adhere to what my dear friend Supervisor (George) Canon has suggested, and that’s, ‘get thicker skin.’”
Douglas said he is asking the other 17 supervisors to vote for him as chairman at the board’s organizational meeting, set for 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7, in the Old County Courthouse in Elizabethtown.
“I love to try and make a difference. I promise to work with (everyone) to make the 214-year existence of Essex County the best we possibly can make it.”
Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah), who chairs the County Finance Committee, said he is backing Douglas for another term.
“Randy has my support, 100 percent. He’s done a excellent job, and I look forward to working with him in 2013. As for Bill, I also feel that he will do a good job.”
Email Lohr McKinstry: