After decades of service on board, Buanno stepping aside

The longest-tenured member of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors, Gloversville 4th Ward Supervis

The longest-tenured member of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors, Gloversville 4th Ward Supervisor Anthony “Chart” Buanno, announced this week that he will not seek re-election this year.

Buanno, who turns 86 in October, has been on the board since 1962. He said he’s thought about retiring in the past but a major county project always seemed to get in the way.

“I’ve been involved in everything that’s been worthwhile in Fulton County: the jail, the infirmary, the college,” Buanno said.

Throughout the course of his career, Buanno — who started out as a Democrat before shifting to the Republican Party in the 1960s — has been involved in many of the major county initiatives of the past 50 years, including the creation of Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

“I was the first one back in 1962 to recommend we try to get a community college here. I was talking on deaf ears,” he said. “We arranged a meeting with Gov. Rockefeller, and he said he couldn’t let us have a community college unless we got into a partnership with another county because we were too small to handle the expense. It took us two months to convince Montgomery County to go into a partnership with us.”

Known by friends and supporters as “Chart,” Buanno’s full name is Anthony Charles Peter Alexander Julian Buanno. He said he doesn’t know where the nickname Chart came from because he chose Charles as his first communion name long after people first started calling him Chart.

“Everybody just always called me that and it stuck,” he said.

Buanno has served as the county’s environmental resources committee chairman since the 1980s. The committee was originally titled the natural resources committee and oversaw the creation of the Fulton County Landfill and the closing of 12 smaller landfills, a project that was fiercely controversial in the beginning but has since garnered almost universal praise for the facility’s low tipping fees and self-sustaining finances.

He said he first took the job as natural resources committee chairman because none of the other supervisors wanted to take the political fire aimed at its members during the landfill siting process.

“I was kind of forced to take the chairmanship, and I only wanted to take it for one year because of all the backfire from people we were going to get,” he said. “I did it reluctantly, but I told the other supervisors there would be a lot of activity on this issue from reporters and the radio and I said if any of them started mouthing off about what we were doing wrong or not doing right, I said that guy is going to be the next chairman of the committee. I had no takers. They all behaved.”

Fulton County Board Chairman John “Jack” Callery said he wouldn’t comment on Buanno’s retirement until it is official.

But Buanno said he is sure he won’t seek re-election.

Former Gloversville 4th Ward Common Councilwoman Shirley Savage, Buanno’s live-in companion, has announced that she’ll run to replace him as Gloversville’s 4th Ward Supervisor. There’s no indication whether any other Republicans want the seat, which would set the stage for a primary.

Savage’s tenure on the Gloversville Common Council lasted from 2004 to 2007 and included numerous public clashes with Mayor Tim Hughes and City Attorney John Clo. She could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Buanno said he was the one who first convinced Savage to run for office and he will continue to back her candidacy.

“She’s a very nice person, very intelligent. When she was a councilwoman for four years, she kind of took a beating because nobody wanted to do what she wanted to do,” he said. “If she gets elected, I think she’ll do a good job. I’m working with her. I’m helping her.”

Categories: News, Schenectady County

Leave a Reply