The new chairman of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors identifies himself first and foremost as a property owner when explaining his priority will be to reduce taxes during his term.
William Waldron was unanimously elected chairman of the board during a reorganization meeting Wednesday. He is a retired systems specialist who worked for IBM for 30 years.
The chairman serves a one-year term and is paid $9,880. Other supervisors are paid $7,505. Waldron is serving his third year of a four-year term on the board representing the Fourth Ward in the city of Johnstown. This is his first term and his first time as board chairman.
“I am a taxpayer, just like everybody else in the county,” he said. “I own three pieces of property and I don’t want to increase taxes and pay the county any more money.”
Waldron, who offers a quick smile during any conversation, kept to this theme in his inaugural address to the other 19 members of the board. He asked the chairs of each board committee to go over each county department’s budget “to ensure there is no excessive spending.” The board committees perform the real work of governing the county, debating and hammering out legislation that the full board later votes on.
The chair serves as a de facto voting member of each committee and as the presiding member of the committee of the whole meeting.
“We will take action as necessary and make cuts,” Waldron said regarding the 2014 budget, which the board will begin working on in the fall.
He added that he is just one member of the board and that the full board would have to agree to any changes to the budget.
Waldron also said he wants to continue the board’s focus on promoting economic development in Fulton County. “We want to keep economic development going. Without economic development, you can’t grow jobs,” he said.
He said the best way the county can promote economic development is to “support a good marketing effort” by the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth.
The CRG was created in March to serve as a parent corporation for the formerly separate Fulton County Economic Development Corp. and the Crossroads Incubator Corp. The CRG and county plan to eventually dissolve the CIC and EDC.
Fulton County is giving the CRG $75,000 under a one-year contract in return for the right to appoint three supervisors or other people to the nine-member CRG board. Supervisors said the agreement will make the CRG more transparent and more accountable to county taxpayers. It also gives the county board more control over the direction of economic development in Fulton County.
The county is also requiring the CRG to file annual audited statements and an annual report and to develop and implement a business development marketing plan for 2013.