Elizabethtown Supervisor Noel Merrihew gets some help from granddaughter Samantha Dolly and daughter Chelsea Merrihew Jan. 6. Merrihew was sworn in by County Clerk Joseph Provoncha as a member of the Essex County Board of Supervisors, where he has previously served as chairman, upon his re-election to the post in Elizabethtown.
One of the new members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors entered his first elected office, while a second moved up from his town council seat to the chief administrative position and a third returned after a two-year hiatus.
Those were the backgrounds of Ed Gardner of Essex, Shaun Gilliland of Willsboro and Noel Merrihew of Elizabethtown as they were all sworn in as members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors Jan. 6.
“It took one of those moments that could have come with apprehension and diminished that,” Merrihew, a former chairman of the county board, said. “I am looking to quietly ease my way back in and contribute. So far it has been pretty straight-forward and I am trying to get reorganized and become familiar with the personnel and the procedures.”
For Gilliland, the town offices in Willsboro look very different then when he was serving as a councilman.
“Effectively, we have a whole new crew at the town office with the number of retirements and newly elected officials,” Gilliland said. “It is a wide open chalkboard to set things the way we want to. Having been a member of the board does give me a little bit more information on the recent history.”
Gilliland said that transition process has been like, “jumping onto the freeway,” and he continues to learn the ropes.
“There is a lot to learn in a short amount of time, but I have had all kids of support as we have gotten started.”
Gilliland also had the task of replacing his vacated town council seat in Willsboro, with the board unanimously voting to appoint Lane Sayward to the position. Sayward had finished third in the November election and at the time Gilliland said he would be in favor of giving the seat to the person who finished with the highest number of votes that was not elected.
In Essex, Gardner also said he has been pleased with the support received from the community.
“I have been surprised with the amount of cooperation with people and how helpful they have all been,” Gardner said. “There are a lot of people who have said they want to help in a lot of different areas. There is a lot of experience from former town supervisors and I have a great deputy in Claire LaPine.”