SCHENECTADY — Margaret “Peggy” King, a former president of the Schenectady City Council, was named Tuesday evening to the Schenectady County Legislature seat formerly held by the late Karen Johnson.
The Legislature appointed King at a caucus prior to the monthly meeting of the Legislature. She will serve through the end of the year. She will have to win an election in November to fill the remaining two years in Johnson’s term.
“It’s an honor and privilege to be appointed to the Legislature and the seat of Karen Johnson,” King said. “Karen was a friend and I had the utmost respect for her.”
King, who has a doctorate in education, has lived in the city’s historic Stockade neighborhood for 37 years. Johnson, who died June 10 after a long illness, also lived in the Stockade. Johnson was also Schenectady’s first female mayor from 1985 to 1992, and many colleagues have offered praise for her. A public celebration of her life will be held Sept. 5 at Proctors in Schenectady.
King was involved in the City Council over the course of 20 years, serving on the council from 1996-2002 and again from 2006 to 2015, when she retired. She served as council president for part of that time.
“Peggy is uniquely qualified because of her many years of service on the City Council. She continues to serve on boards – too many to count – and on foundations,” said Legislator Richard Patierne, D-Schenectady, who nominated King for the vacancy.
King is a retired student development administrator at Schenectady County Community College and remains on the college’s Board of Trustees.
Since leaving the City Council, King has remained active in Democratic politics, and has served on many non-profit boards, including Habitat of Schenectady County, the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra, and and the Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation.
County legislators are part-time, earning $14,093 annually.
Johnson was also vice chairman of the County Legislature. On Tuesday, the Legislature named Legislator Jeffrey McDonald to that position.
“I think we’re all in agreement he has a combination of good sense and good humor, and I think that will serve him well,” said Legislature Majority Leader Gary E. Hughes, D-Schenectady.
McDonald, who has served on the Legislature for 12 years, is also chairman of Discover Schenectady, the county’s tourism bureau.
During its regular meeting, the Legislature named Joseph F. McQueen Jr. of Glenville as the county’s director of human resources, at a salary of $86,000. The current human resources director, Jaclyn Falotico, has been named deputy county manager. The changes are effective Aug. 5.
McQueen since 2008 has been the county’s director of public communications — functioning as the county’s public spokesman, managing the county website and county social media posts, overseeing use and electronic publications and working on special events. A new director of public communications hasn’t been named yet.