Essex County Manager Daniel Palmer said he would let the board decide if he would return to the position for the next two years. Indeed, he will.
By a 1,652-875 weighted vote (394 absent votes), the Board of Supervisors approved the re-appointment of Palmer on Monday, Dec. 31, just weeks after he said he was planning to resign.
Nine supervisors voted to return Palmer to the post, including Gerald Morrow (Chesterfield), Margaret Bartley (Elizabethtown), Bill Ferebee (Keene), David Blades (Lewis), Sue Montgomery-Corey (Minerva), George Canon (Newcomb), Roby Politi (North Elba), Ronald Moore (North Hudson) and Deb Malaney (Ticonderoga).
Five voting against re-appointment included board chairman Randy Douglas (Jay), Sharon Boisen (Essex), Tom Scozzafava (Moriah), Ed Hatch (Willsboro) and Randy Preston (Wilmington). Absent were Charles Harrington (Crown Point) and Daniel Connell (Westport), along with Charles Whitson, Jr., who was appointed interim supervisor for the town of St. Armand shortly after Supervisor Joyce Morency died in early December.
Politi, who was reported as being the one who asked Palmer to return, removed a resolution from the floor of appreciation to the manager and replaced it with one to re-appoint him. The motion came with a salary of $98,615.29 for county manager and $19,515.60 for IT manager, both positions held by Palmer.
Marnell asked if there could be a compromise in terms of length of the new term.
“Would Dan be interested in just a one-year contract to serve in the position,” Marnell said.
“It’s not that I wouldn’t be interested in something like that, but you really can’t do it,” Palmer responded.
“The only way you could do that is if you made a change to the local law concerning the length of term,” County Attorney Dan Manning added.
Hatch was the only one that spoke up against the re-appointment, saying that he agreed “85 percent” with an editorial that appeared in last week’s edition of The Valley News.
“I think that he has done a great job and now he should go out and enjoy life,” Hatch said. “I am voting no.”
Palmer thanked the board after wife and clerk to the board Deb Palmer announced that the resolution had carried. She was recognized for her service to the county in a separate resolution, as she had also previously announced her retirement at the end of the year.