Michael Rooney of Gloversville was elected 2008 chairman of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors Wednesday.
Broadalbin Supervisor Lee Hollenbeck, who nominated Rooney, said it will be good to have a Gloversville supervisor at the helm with all the projects that are going on in the city.
One of the most high-profile projects is Operation Green Scene, in which dilapidated county-owned buildings are razed to make way for new development.
Rooney, who was elected chairman by a 19-0 vote, was grateful for the support.
“Thank you. I appreciate this very much,” he said.
Rooney said he’s been on the board for seven years and the county has made positive strides in that time.
“I think we’re making a difference,” he said, noting that by raising the sales tax rate three years ago the county has been able to cut its average property tax rate to less than $10.
He remembered that there was opposition from the business community at the time.
“We had to have courage. We had to go against two institutions to do it,” Rooney said.
Referring to the demolition work in Gloversville, Rooney noted it was rolling before he was elected, but said his goal is to expedite it.
Gloversville’s population has fallen off over the past few decades, from about 25,000 to about 15,000. Rooney said that has led to excess housing, which is attracting poor people from throughout the county and surrounding counties.
He said a Saratoga County Department of Social Services caseworker was actively recruiting Fulton County landlords to rent to Saratoga County clients. Once those people move to Fulton County then Fulton County is responsible for paying 25 percent of their benefits, he said.
“At some point how much is too much? You have to object,” he said.
A call to the Saratoga County DSS commissioner’s office was not returned Wednesday.
Rooney replaces former Caroga Supervisor Stephen Barker as chairman. Johnstown Supervisor Jack Callery replaces Rooney as deputy chairman.
County Clerk Bill Eschler administered the oath of office to the 19 supervisors in attendance, including five newly elected supervisors.
They are: Marie Born of Gloversville, Gary Gifford of Caroga, George Capek of Oppenheim, Robert Johnson of Stratford and Roy Palmateer, town of Johnstown.
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Categories: Schenectady County