WARRENSBURG - The leadership of Warren County government will be changing as of January.
County Board of Supervisors chairman Frederick Monroe of Chester will be stepping down, and Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec will be taking his place.
Monroe said Friday he was turning over the reins of the county because he wanted to devote more time to both his personal life and his work as chairman of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board.
Stec was chosen by a caucus of Republican Supervisors Nov. 19 to replace Monroe. He was selected after Queensbury at-large supervisor William VanNess decided not to seek the post this year. Stec received the unanimous support of the 14 Republicans serving on the 20-member board, plus he received expressions of support from Democrats as well.
Stec is the first county board chairman hailing from Queensbury for 20 years. Traditionally, board chairs have generally been chosen from the municipalities other than Queensbury or Glens Falls, some say in a gesture to provide a balance in power on the board, as the voting by supervisors is heavily tilted toward these two municipal entities because the weighted voting is based on population.
Positions and votes on a variety of issues have often been divided along such rural-versus-metropolitan lines.
Stec assured Friday he will not be showing favoritism to his hometown or Glens Falls at the expense of rural upcounty towns.
"There will be no directional changes nor geographical shifts when I become chairman," he said. "I will continue to focus on economic issues which affect Main Street regardless of where people live."
Stec said the pressing issues facingt the county, including economic development and figuring out how to relieve the burden of unfunded state mandates, effect upcounty and down-county residents equally.
He said that one issue dear to upcounty residents remains atop his action agenda - availability of broadband services in rural areas at a reasonable cost.
Four years ago, Stec was considering a candidacy for county Treasurer. Last year, he initiated a drive to gain the Republican endorsement for the U.S. 20th Congressional District seat, but was overtaken in his primary quest by Chris Gibson, who won the seat in November from incumbent Scott Murphy.
Stec said Dec. 3 that he wasn't going to seek the county Treasurer post, although incumbent Treasurer has said he's retiring when his term is completed at the end of next year.
Stec said he'd be running again for Queensbury Town Supervisor post, and thus seeking to continue in his position as chairman of the county Board of Supervisors.
What lies beyond the top county political post for Stec?
He declined to say Friday if he'd run for a state or federal position.
"Being the chairman of the county board, however, doesn't hurt me politically," he said with a smile.