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Supervisors Appoint Public Officials, Set Committees and Discuss Abatements at Organizational Meeting

Written By Editor on 1/6/14 | 1/6/14


Incoming Supervisors had their plates full in Friday night's organizational meeting, as they filled a slew of appointed positions, set committees, discussed the possibility of adopting countywide tax abatements and heard a proposal to hold two monthly board meetings among other business.
 
First off, they kicked off this year's legislative session by electing Town of Gilboa Supervisor Tony Van Glad to serve as Chairman of the Board and former Board Chairman Phil Skowfoe as Vice-Chair, cementing the anti-Conservative Party coalition in power and seemingly avoiding the partisan struggle Americans have grown accustomed to in national and local politics between the two major parties.
 
With Chairman Van Glad at the helm, the Board would go on to approve a series of resolutions that would fill a number of appointed positions and designate the county's official newspapers, banks and a host of emergency related task forces. Among those appointed were Sheryl Largeteau as Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Bill Cherry as Budget Officer, Phil Skowfoe as the Supervisors representative on the County Board of Health and Michael West as County Attorney.
 
The Mountain Eagle and the Times Journal were named as Schoharie County's official newspapers, for legal notice purposes, while the Bank of Richmondville, Bank of America, NBT Bank, Community Bank, Key Bank, National Bank of Coxsackie and J.P. Morgan Chase were named as depositories for county funds.  
 
Soon after discussion turned toward committee assignments, which Chairman Van Glad put together in a bi-partisan manner that has both Democrat and Republican members of the board as committee chairmen, with Supervisors Barbic of Seward, Buzon of Middleburgh, Bradt of Carlisle, Lape of Richmondville and Skowfoe of Fulton each head of two.
 
However, feeling that Supervisors aren't educated enough in the workings of the standing committees, Town of Schoharie Supervisor Gene Milone recommended holding two monthly board meetings, a proposal that was cast aside in favor of better communication between the respective committees and the board as a whole.
 
Mr. Milone would go on to address freshman legislators on the controversial tax abatements passed in the Town of Schoharie in 2013 and added that he hoped the county board would vote on possibly joining Schoharie's efforts later this month at the regular meeting. Town of Middleburgh Supervisor Jim Buzon backed up Mr. Milone's proposal by telling board members that he was looking at presenting the issue to his own town board and that he felt it, "Could draw people into the area."
 
The idea of countywide tax abatements was met with opposition by Town of Carlisle Supervisor Larry Bradt, who felt taxpayers would eventually have to make up the difference in cost, to which Mr. Milone adamantly stood behind his proposal stating, "There is no cost that is shed to anyone else on this," adding later that, "If it doesn't work, nothing changes."
 
Chairman Van Glad ended discussion by telling lawmakers to, "study your work," as Mr. Milone intends to bring the issue to a vote at the regular January meeting, scheduled for the 24th at 9am, to see whether there is a consensus on abatements, which will be followed by a public hearing if there is.
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