Friday, January 8, 2010

County Board of Supervisors Plan for 2010? More Partisanship and Division

Board of Supervisors Assembles for Organizational Meeting.

Republicans End 
Bi-Partisan Board.   

Republicans gave the board chair, both deputy chairs and every committee chair and vice-chair position to themselves.

On Tuesday January 5th 2010, Roy Brown (R-Germantown) was officially named the new Chairman of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors.
All Supervisors present voted yes on the appointment of Supervisor Brown as Chair except William Hughes (D-Hudson-4) and Edward Cross (D-Hudson-2), both of whom abstained. Supervisor Margaret Robertson (D-New Lebanon) was absent.
Supervisor Hughes accused the Republicans of deciding who would to be the new chair without consulting any of the Democrats on the Board of Supervisors.
Regarding his abstention, Supervisor Cross said, "[m]y opinion wasn't solicited...nobody asked me anything about who should be anything. All of a sudden that’s just dumped on us."
Following his official election, Chairman Brown then announced his choices for the two Deputy Chair positions. The new Deputy Chairs would be Supervisors Bart Delaney (R-Hudson-5) and Larry Andrews (R-Ghent), both Republicans.
Last term there was one Republican and one Democratic Deputy Chair.

Democratic Supervisors had previously been notified of their committee assignments, with most of the Democratic Supervisors complaining about being removed from their favored committees. Unlike last term when Democrats held the chair or vice-chair of several committees, this year no Democrat will sit in the Chair or Vice-Chair positions on ANY committee.

Chairman Brown then proceeded to give a speech in which he criticized "the partisan politics of Albany" 

After what had just taken place, the sentiment was completely laughable.
At the end of the meeting, Supervisor Hughes expressed his disappointment that the "partisan politics of Albany" had spread to Columbia County, noting that Democrats had not been given any leadership positions and Brown had not continued the bipartisan spirit of his predecessor, Art Baer, by appointing a deputy chair from each party.
Hughes also said he was also disappointed that few Democrats stood to give their opinions on the appointments. "It blind-sided us and it was a shot at the Democrats.
Yet another pathetic embarrassment for the Republican majority.
A sad day for Democrats and an even sadder day for the people of Columbia County.

After the wasteful court challenge over the voting rights of Columbia County residents which was not based on law, many were hoping that the new Chair and the Republican caucus would reach out in a bi-partisan way and attempt to put the past behind them.

That was not to be.

Instead they chose to dig themselves further in and have attempted to further isolate, marginalize and disenfranchise their fellow Supervisors in the minority.

Majority and Minority Leaders Also Chosen:
Elizabeth Young (R-Taghkanic) was re-elected Republican majority leader; the Democrats chose Jesse DeGroodt (D-Chatham) as Democratic minority leader.

Special Note: Even with an ethics charge pending against him, former Deputy County Attorney, Robert Fitzsimmons was appointed to be County Attorney at this same meeting by the Republican majority.
Complete story on
Read the full ethics complaint

Read more on the Board of Supervisors meeting in:  
Register-Star and ccScoop

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