Press-Republican

Wednesday

January 15, 2014

Essex County committee chairs chosen

ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County’s five new supervisors may have to show their mettle before getting any full committee chairmanships on the county’s governing body.

None of Essex County’s new lawmakers was assigned chair of a County Board of Supervisors committee this year. 

But once they get some experience on the County Board of Supervisors and if he’s still chairman next year, some of them may find themselves at the helm of one of the board’s standing committees, County Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) said.

The biggest change is that Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba) will now chair the Economic Development Committee, replacing Ticonderoga Supervisor Debra Malaney, who left office at the end of 2013.

CHAIR POSITIONS

Of the new supervisors, two do have chairmanships on subcommittees and task forces.

Supervisor Shaun Gillilland (R-Willsboro) is co-chair of the Animal Cruelty Task Force with Supervisor David Blades (R-Lewis), while Supervisor Noel Merrihew III (R-Elizabethtown) will chair the Space Subcommittee.

Merrihew was defeated two years ago, ran again last year and won the seat back.

The other new supervisors are William Grinnell (R-Ticonderoga), Edward Gardner (I-Essex), and Stephen McNally (D-Minerva).

Each committee has one or more of the new five supervisors as members.

‘GET THEIR FEET WET’

Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) said there was no reason other than their novice experience to keep the freshman lawmakers from holding chairmanships when he made the appointments.

“It’s just because they’re new,” he said. “I really encouraged them to visit all the departments and get their feet wet. Next year, if I’m still there (as chair), we’ll look at giving them some chairmanships.”

POWER PANELS

The most high-profile chairmanship — of the Finance Committee that holds county purse strings — is still held by Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah).

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