Local attorney Jonathan Schopf was sworn in Monday evening by the Town Board to represent Clifton Park on the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors. Schopf is filling the seat vacated by Anita Daly last month.
Schopf will begin his term as town supervisor at Tuesday’s county board meeting. He will be one of two supervisors representing Clifton Park, along with town Supervisor Phil Barrett. Unlike Barrett, Schopf will not have a role in town government, and will only represent Clifton Park — Saratoga County’s largest town — at the county level. Clifton Park and Saratoga Springs are the only communities that have supervisors who are only county legislators. The position is part time with an annual salary of about $18,500.
Schopf, 38, has never held public office, though he said his experience running for town judge last year against town Justice Robert Ryback was a rewarding experience. “That was the first time I had ever done anything like that. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Even though I lost, I count it as a personal victory,” he said.
Schopf, originally from northwestern Pennsylvania, moved to Clifton Park 11 years ago after earning his bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from Albany Law School. His wife, Carin, has lived in Clifton Park since she was a girl. The couple have two children, their oldest a first-grader in the Shenendehowa school district.
Schopf recently opened his own law firm in town, concentrating on municipal law.
“It’s a pretty diverse general practice,” he said. “Mostly property tax litigation, though my niche is animal law. I represent a good number of local animal rescue operations and assist them in day-to-day operations,” he said.
Schopf is the town attorney for the town of Hoosick. He has also been an active member of the Clifton Park Republican Committee for the past year.
“My main goals in office are going to be focusing on four areas: public safety, economic development, taxes and finances. I’m going to maintain the current share of road patrols in Clifton Park, and ensure these services are delivered at a fair and low cost to town residents,” said Schopf. He added, “I’m looking forward to using my knowledge in animal law to assist local law enforcement and the county animal shelter to improve upon challenging situations they face.”
Clifton Park Councilwoman Amy Standaert said, “Jon is extremely qualified for the county supervisor position and I am confident he will serve Clifton Park’s interests well. As a local attorney with his firm located in Clifton Park, his experience in municipal law and his dedication to serving his community, Jon has all the characteristics necessary to successfully fulfill this position.”
Standaert noted that the town had a few people interested in the position and said, “We are very fortunate to have so much talent willing to serve the public.”
Town Councilman James Whalen said, “I have no doubt that Jon will be a strong advocate for the people of Clifton Park on the Board of Supervisors.”
Schopf will hold office until Dec. 31. A special election will be held in November and whoever is elected will serve through December 31, 2017.
Reach Gazette reporter Cady Kuzmich at 269-7239 or [email protected]
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