By JOE LoTEMPLIO
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Jimmy Langley was once again named chair of the Clinton County Legislature.
“He can work with anybody, regardless of party,” Legislator Jonathan Beach (R-Area 2, Altona) said in nominating Langley for chairman at this week’s reorganizational meeting.
“He can make the tough decisions.”
Langley’s selection will mark the 13th consecutive year he will serve as chairman.
“With his contacts of key people in government at the state and federal level and his great communication skills, he brings people together,” Robert Butler (R-Area 6, Saranac) said in seconding Beach’s nomination.
Langley’s nomination was unanimously approved.
TERM LIMIT AHEAD
He said this would probably be his final term as chairman.
“It will be difficult to say goodbye, but that will come at a later time,” he said.
Langley joined the legislature in 1999, replacing Timothy Lawliss, who was elected Family Court judge. Langley has been re-elected in Area 7, which covers Peru, five times. He became chairman in 2001.
Because of term limits, he will leave the legislature when his current term ends in 2015.
Five legislators from the even-numbered areas will run for re-election to four-year terms this year. The legislators from the odd-numbered areas will run again in 2015.
“I’ve been chair for 13 years, and there will be a time when someone else will have to move in, and with some new legislators coming in the next few years, now is the time to start thinking about it,” he said.
The county is coming off a fiscal year that saw pleasing budget numbers for 2013, with a tax-levy increase of 1.3 percent, which was 1.8 percent below the state tax cap.
Healthy sales-tax revenue and savings of about $1.7 million from the sale of the county’s home-health-care service bolstered the budget picture.
“The county is going in a good direction, and we had a good year, and we had great sales tax, and, fortunately, we did not have too many natural disasters to deal with,” Langley said.
Work on the expansion of Plattsburgh International Airport will continue to be a major focus of 2013, Langley said.
“We should get to work on the utilities of the new terminal and probably not break ground on the terminal itself until 2014, but that is a big project for us, no doubt,” he said.
In his time as chairman, the legislature has gained a reputation for avoiding party division and addressing issues based on merit. Langley said he is proud of that hallmark.
“No one has pretty much ever had any problems with re-election, so we must have done something right,” he said.
OTHER COUNTY POSTS
In addition to returning Langley, legislators also chose Sara Rowden (D-Area 4, Town of Plattsburgh) to continue as deputy chair.
Butler was named Republican leader once again, and John Gallagher (D-Area 9, City of Plattsburgh) will be Democratic leader.
William Favreau was again chosen county attorney and Brian Snell as assistant county attorney.
Richard Cantwell will again serve as the administrator of indigent defendants, and Sherm Hamel was reappointed as the county’s representative to Capital District Off-Track Betting Corp.
Email Joe LoTemplio: email@example.com