FOR ORGANIZATION AND SELECTION OF CHAIRPERSON
Pursuant to Resolution 454 of 2019, adopted November 25, 2019
January 2, 2020
Roll Call – Quorum Present
Supervisors: Argotsinger, Blackmon, Born, Bowman, Bradt, Breh, Callery, Fagan, Greene, Groff, Handy, Horton, Howard, Kinowski, Lauria, Perry, Potter, Vandenburgh, Wilson, Young
TOTAL: Present: 20 Absent: 0
The Organizational Meeting was called to order by Administrative Officer/Clerk of the Board Jon R. Stead, at 10:00 a.m. Following the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, Mr. Stead welcomed everyone and wished everyone a “Happy New Year”. Mr. Stead recognized Assemblyman Smullen and Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson, among other officials. Mr. Stead stated that the occasion of the Organizational Meeting is a good time to recognize our military personnel and government employees working to protect our country as well as all the law enforcement personnel we rely on. He requested that everyone bow their heads in prayer or a moment of silence.
Mr. Stead asked for prayers for government employees working at the local, state and federal levels to carry out their duties. He also noted that there seems to be a lot of decisiveness at the state and national levels, but Fulton County government has a tradition of getting along to get things done.
Supervisor Handy then moved for a Republican Caucus. The Board recessed for the Caucus at 10:07 a.m. and reconvened into Regular Session at 10:18 a.m.
Nominations were then made for Temporary Chairman, with Supervisor Kinowski nominating Supervisor Callery. Supervisor Bradt seconded the nomination. The Clerk then called for other nominations. There being no other nominations, the polls were closed upon a motion by Supervisor Argotsinger, seconded by Supervisor Breh and members voted to support the nomination.
Supervisor Callery was escorted to the dais by Supervisors Kinowski and Bradt. Temporary Chairman Callery then asked for nominations for Chairman of the Board for 2020. Supervisor Groff placed the name of Warren Greene, of Gloversville, in nomination for Chairman of the Board, noting that he has had many accomplishments within the community and is sure he will do great things as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
Supervisor Groff advised that Mr. Greene had worked 33 years at the Fulton County Probation Department, 22 of those years as the director. He was on the Traffic Safety Board for 20 years and was responsible for the start of the area high schools having the post prom parties. He was instrumental for the program of law enforcement and students as well as a mental health clinic for youth. He has a commitment to this County with his wife, Jeanne and they together raised two (2) sons and he also has three (3) grandsons. Supervisor Groff remarked that Mr. Greene will do a great job as Chairman.
The motion was seconded by Supervisor Potter. The Temporary Chairman then asked if there were other nominations. The polls were closed upon a motion by Supervisor Fagan, seconded by Supervisor Howard The motion for Chairman of the Board carried unanimously in the form of Resolution No. 1.
Supervisors Potter and Groff escorted Chairman Greene to the dais.
County Clerk Kollar was present and conducted the Oath of Office for newly elected supervisors.
Chairman Greene advised that being named Chairman of the Board is “surreal”. He said that he would be remiss if his first order of business was not to thank former Chairman Jack Wilson for the outstanding job he did as Chairman. He said that going forward he has “big shoes to fill”. Chairman Greene also wanted to welcome new Supervisors Michael Bowman (City of Johnstown), Scott Horton (Town of Caroga) and Heather Vandenburgh (Town of Stratford) to the Board.
Mr. Greene expressed his thanks to the dignitaries that were present for the meeting today. He also advised that he often hears other Chairmen and officials say they “have the best wife”, but he stated “with all due respect”, that can’t be true, because I am.” He also wanted to thank his son Jacob, and his brother Michael and his wife Denise for attending the ceremony. Mr. Greene explained that his son Steven could not attend today as well as his elderly mother and step-father. He further explained that the Pledge of Allegiance meant something special today and it was in honor of his father, who was a World War II vet and was wounded twice and who passed away several years ago. The Flag and his service to his country meant a lot to him.
Mr. Greene continued that he wanted to quote a song from George Harrison who wrote “Abbey Road”, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”. He continued that fortunately the Board of Supervisors, going back several years, found the road they were looking for and he was fortunate to join them about six (6) years ago. Some of our current and longer- tenured Supervisors made difficult, but necessary decisions, which laid the foundation for positive steps going forward today. We owe them a great debt of gratitude.
With that being said, I would like to site four (4) challenges I believe we face this coming year by first introducing them with two short quotes from President Lincoln:
“The best way to predict your future is to create it”.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow
by avoiding it today”.
Challenge 1: Ambulance/EMS Service:
After a methodical step by step process led by former Chairman Wilson, Steve SantaMaria, Jon Stead and others, we need to work through some remaining issues and come to a decision which will be in the long term best interests of our citizens.
Challenge 2: Continue Economic Development:
The Vision 2026 Development Strategy which was completed in 2018 is a living, breathing document that we should review periodically and update as conditions change such as projects being completed. I also think that the Planning Department, Industrial Development Agency, Center for Regional Growth and Chamber of Commerce should work closer together.
Challenge 3: Criminal Justice Reforms:
The latest reforms in the Public Defenders Office as well as Bail Reform concern me greatly from both a public safety perspective as well as future financial mandates. I believe they will be imposed either directly or indirectly as a result of these reforms and we need to keep an open dialogue with our State representatives to communicate our concerns.
Challenge 4: Consolidation and Inter-municipal Cooperation:
In Supervisor Wilson’s closing remarks, he included a list of Inter-municipal cooperation and, as a Gloversville resident, I was impressed that five (5) of the first seven (7) listed were between the County and Gloversville. We will continue to seek out consolidation efforts wherever they are feasible and fiscally responsible.
In my closing remarks, I note that “my nature leans towards being evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary.” I thank you again the trust you have placed in me for the year 2020, and I look forward to working with you, Administrative Officer Jon Stead, County Attorney Jason Brott and the tremendous Board Office staff in the upcoming year.
Chairman Greene then called for nominations for Vice Chairman of the Board for 2020. Supervisor Kinowski nominated Supervisor Callery. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Bradt. Chairman Greene then asked if there were other nominations. Supervisor Argotsinger moved that the polls be closed. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Breh and members voted to close the polls.
Action was then taken on Resolutions 3 through 14. At the conclusion of the meeting, Chairman Greene distributed the 2020 Standing Committee and Special Committee assignments.
There being no other business, Supervisor Groff moved that the Board adjourn until January 13, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Born and unanimously carried. The Board adjourned at 10:44 a.m.
Jon R. Stead, Administrative Officer/ DATE
Clerk of the Board