Jay Supervisor and Essex County Board Chairman Randy Douglas.
While there will be four new faces and a returning member to the Essex County Board of Supervisors in January, the faces leading the quorum may look very familiar.
Jay Supervisor and current county chairman Randy Douglas recently announced he would again seek the top position which he has held for the past four years. Douglas also threw his support behind Keene Supervisor Bill Ferebee to serve for a second year as vice chairman.
“Together we have worked very hard on your behalf to help keep us at the front of the line for state and federal funding grant opportunities,” Douglas said in a letter to county supervisors and media. “Together in working with the County Manager Dan Palmer, County Attorney Dan Manning, Deputy County Manager Mike Mascarenas and all Department heads, we have been very successful in securing funding for many projects in Essex County such as infrastructure improvements and consolidation projects.”
Douglas spoke about securing funding for water and sewer projects in municipalities throughout the county along with FEMA funding for property buyouts and recovery operations. He also talked about working with state leaders on land classifications for the Essex Chain of Lakes and the passage of Proposition 5, allowing NYCO Minerals to enter into a land swap agreement with the state for mining operations.
“Most recently in working with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Supervisor Randy Preston (Wilmington), Assemblyman Dan Stec, Senator Betty Little, ORDA and the NYS Department of Transportation, we were able to secure funding for the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway much needed repairs,” Douglas added. “Together we have made great strides in working together in a bipartisan way for the betterment of Essex Counties future.”
Douglas said he was pleased with the ability of board members to work together during his tenure as chair.
“Although we may all disagree at times I know each and every one of you honestly vote for what you feel is best in your hearts,” Douglas said. “Both Bill and I have been honored to serve as your leaders these last few years. If Bill and I are successful to remain as your Chairman and Vice Chairman we assure you we will continue to work as hard as possible to represent you all at the local, State, and Federal level.”
If re-elected, Douglas would lead a board that will undergo its biggest facelift in years with new supervisors Bill Grinell (Ticonderoga), Shaun Gilliland (Willsboro), Ed Gardner (Essex) and Stephen McNally (Minerva) along with the return to the board of former chairman Noel Merrihew (Elizabethtown).
“I have already reached out to all the new elected supervisors and promise to help them in any way I can to make their transitions into town and county supervisors successful,” Douglas said.
Douglas said that, with each previous run, he has received the blessing of his family to continue to serve.
“I have received approval from my family my wife Peggy, Daughter Savannah and son Shane to continue if you so choose,” he said. “I am very thankful for their love and support. I am also very thankful to have the support of the Jay Elected and appointed public officials as well as the Board of Supervisors staff who daily go above and beyond to help make my job as chairman much easier.”
Douglas added he would be ready to continue to work in resolving the continued challenges facing the towns and departments of Essex County.
“Honestly the duties of Chairman has changed with these tough fiscal times and it is very time consuming, but I assure you we are up to the challenges ahead,” he said.
The board will meet in early January for its Organizational Meeting, where they will choose the 2014 chair and vice-chair.