Board members elect new town supervisor

Robert Kane was named supervisor by a 3-1 vote at a special Town Board meeting Tuesday.

Robert Kane was named supervisor by a 3-1 vote at a special Town Board meeting Tuesday.

Kane will replace former supervisor Gary W. Gifford Sr., who resigned March 6 about two months after taking office, citing personal reasons.

There were a half-dozen candidates for the job, which pays about $17,300 between the town and county salaries.

Members of the board said they were impressed by the quality of the candidate pool. Deputy Supervisor Ralph Palcovic thanked people for attending the meeting and coming forward to serve as supervisor.

Councilwoman Valerie Scribner said she spoke to all the candidates and said it’s unfortunate that some will have hurt feelings, but she, like Palcovic, urged them to run in September.

When it came time to select the new supervisor, Palcovic first asked for a motion to appoint Joseph Breen. Scribner made the motion, which died for lack of a second.

There was no motion to appoint Sarah Burgess or Ron McLain.

Councilman Robert Sullivan made a motion to nominate Jim Selmser, Scribner seconded it and the vote ended in a 2-2 tie.

That’s when Councilman Robert Sprung, with a second from Palcovic, nominated Kane. Sprung and Palcovic voted for him, Sullivan voted no, and Scribner voted yes.

Sprung said he’s known Kane, who has a long history of community service, for many years and was comfortable that he would do a good job.

Sprung said he served as Republican committee chairman the past few years and it’s been tough to find candidates who are willing to serve, are capable of serving and who have the time to serve.

He said he urged people to go to bed at night thinking of possible candidates.

“I’m telling you, we couldn’t come up with a candidate. It was tough. Look how we ended up. We thought Gary would do great,” he said.

Kane said he’s going to hit the ground running.

“I’m kind of going along with what Gary was doing,” he said, noting that there are several committees addressing town issues at present, including parklands, a salt-storage facility and repairs to the roof at the municipal building.

“Quite a few,” he said.

Kane said he’s lived in Caroga Lake for 50 years and served as Wheelerville Union Free School treasurer for 40 years. He said he’s been a member of the Caroga Lake Volunteer Fire Department for 35 years and was Planning Board chairman for 12 years.

“I ended up as head carpenter for NYRA,” he said. “So, I have a good background in construction, which I think will be very helpful.”

Kane will serve the remainder of this year and a special election will be held in the fall to fill the remaining year — 2009 — on Gifford’s term.

Categories: Schenectady County

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