January 1, 2013

Essex County manager reappointed


---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — His threatened retirement set aside, Essex County Manager Daniel Palmer was reappointed on Monday.

Although five county lawmakers were opposed, the other nine who voted in favor had plenty of weighted votes to ensure the manager’s return.

By weighted vote, the final tally was 1,652 to 875.

Palmer had submitted his retirement, to be effective Jan. 1, 2013, after a disagreement with the County Board of Supervisors over a plan for balancing the 2013 county budget.

He changed his mind after Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba) used an executive session two weeks ago to talk him into reconsidering. Palmer then said he’d stay if the board voted to reappoint him.

A resolution commending him for his service was withdrawn on Politi’s motion Monday, and one reappointing him to another two-year term was substituted.

Palmer’s salary will remain the same, at $98,615 for the county-manager position and $19,515 for information systems director.

Opposed to Palmer returning were Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) and Supervisors Sharon Boisen (I-Essex), Edward Hatch (D-Willsboro), Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) and Randy Preston (I-Wilmington). 

Supervisors Daniel Connell (D-Westport), Charles Harrington (R-Crown Point) and Charles Whitson Jr. (R-St. Armand) were absent.

Palmer will be sworn in for his new term at the board’s organizational meeting, set for 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7.

His wife, Clerk of the Board Deborah Palmer, is still retiring effective Jan. 1. She will be replaced by Deputy Clerk Judy Garrison of Moriah at a salary of $53,000 annually. Mrs. Palmer had been paid $66,000.

The only supervisor who spoke on Mr. Palmer’s reappointment was Hatch -- who was opposed.

“Thanking Dan for his services I agree with. Dan has done a good job,” Hatch said, adding that he should still leave.

In favor keeping Mr. Palmer on were Supervisors Gerald Morrow (D-Chesterfield), Margaret Bartley (D-Elizabethtown), William Ferebee (R-Keene), Debra Malaney (R-Ticonderoga), David Blades (R-Lewis), George Canon (R-Newcomb), Ronald Moore (R-North Hudson), Sue Montgomery Corey (D-Minerva) and Michael Marnell (R-Schroon).

After the vote, Mr. Palmer simply said, “Thank you.”

Following the meeting, he said he was looking forward to working with the Board of Supervisors for another term.

“It’s a challenge. It’s going to be a tough year. We’ll do it together.”

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