Thursday, 05 January 2023 15:22

Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Reaffirm Leadership Status Quo

BALLSTON SPA — The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors reelected Moreau Town Supervisor Todd Kusnierz as its chairman and Clifton Park Supervisor John Shopf as vice-chair, at the board’s annual Organizational Meeting on Jan. 4 at the county complex in Ballston Spa. 

The reaffirmation by 18 of the 20 supervisors in the room marks Kusnierz’ third consecutive one-year term, with Stillwater Supervisor Ed Kinowski casting the lone vote against, and Saratoga Springs Supervisor Tara Gaston abstaining from the vote. 

“Thank you to my colleagues for the opportunity to serve a third term as your chairman. It has been a distinct honor and pleasure to represent your interests on behalf of Saratoga County residents,” said Kusnierz, who was accompanied by members of his family at the meeting.  “Together we have enacted policies that have helped make Saratoga County the fastest growing county in upstate New York…last year we passed 390 resolutions, smashing the previous record of 347 that was set in 2021.” 

Kusnierz also recognized Town of Edinburg Supervisor Jean Raymond - serving her 36th year on the Board - as the longest-serving supervisor in the county’s history. 

The 23-member Board of Supervisors represents towns and cities throughout the county and serve as the legislative and executive authority of county government. They will oversee a $378.3 million county budget for Saratoga in 2023.

During the meeting, supervisors approved their meeting schedule for 2023; meetings will take place at 4 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month (except for next month’s gathering on Feb. 23) at the county complex.          

The Board also approved its Rules for Meetings in 2023. Specific to Public Input: 15 minutes will be set aside at every regular meeting to allow members of the public to address the Board of Supervisors on matters relating to Saratoga County business. 

Anyone wishing to speak must sign their name and address on a sign-up sheet prior to the start of the meeting, and each speaker will be allotted three minutes time. Public comments may also be sent via mail or email to the Clerk of the Board. The rules are similar for anyone wishing to speak during a designated Public Hearing regarding a specific matter. 

Public commentary is segmented near the very end of the meeting, just prior to adjournment. Supervisor Gaston recommended that the public input segment be relocated closer to the start of the meeting to ensure that commentary may be made prior to the board’s vote on a particular resolution, but the amendment received no second to the proposed motion from the board. Chairman Kusnierz added that there was ample time for the public to communicate with board members in advance of a vote.    

Various director and board member appointments were also announced to service a variety of county sub-committees. 

The Chair of the Board is charged with appointing members to the county’s 12 Standing Committees; Those committees are typically where the initial work is debated regarding topics later sent to the Board of Supervisors for their ultimate approval.  The Law and Finance Committee specifically is the last Committee meeting scheduled prior to the Regular Meeting of the Board of Supervisors, and Items approved by the Law and Finance Committee constitute the agenda of the Board of Supervisors Regular Meetings. 

On Jan. 4, Kusnierz announced the appointment of Clifton Park Supervisor Jon Shopf as Chairman of the Law & Finance Committee, and Supervisors Matt Veitch (Saratoga Springs), Phil Barrett (Clifton Park), Diana Edwards (Day), Joe Grasso (Charlton), John Lant (Wilton), Kevin Tollisen (Halfmoon), as committee members.   

Members for several other Standing Committees – including Buildings and Grounds; Economic Development; Health and Human Services; Public Safety, and Public Works were not announced Jan. 4, but the positions will be filled “in the immediate and near future,” and in advance of February committee meeting dates, Kusnierz said.    

• Four new Directors were appointed two-year terms to the Board of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, Inc. They are: Justin Baker, of Saratoga Springs; Phillip Barrett, of Clifton Park; Jeremy Connors, of Halfmoon, and Jeffrey Jones, of Clifton Park.  The Board of Supervisors in 2014 authorized the formation of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, Inc., as an economic development local development corporation in accordance with Not-For-Profit Corporation Law.

• Four new members were appointed two-year terms to the County of Saratoga Industrial Development Agency. They are: Tom Lewis, Philip Klein and Rod Sutton, all of Saratoga Springs, and Michael Mooney, of Gansevoort. 

• The Board of Supervisors additionally adopted resolutions appointing new Commissioners to county Sewer District 1, new Directors of the county Capital Resource Corporation, and Soil & Water Conservation District, and new Board Members to the county’s Community Services Board, Fire Advisory Board, Fish & Wildlife Management Board, Traffic Safety Board, Water Authority Board. 

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