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Supervisors deciding on new chairman

CHESTERTOWN Fred Monroe will have a new job in January, if all goes as planned. The Chester supervisor was unanimously elected the new chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors by the Republican members of the board. If the full board votes in favor, it will become official at the first full board meeting in January. That is almost a sure thing, since only four members of the new board are Democrats, and Monroe was already unanimously chosen by the Republican majority. Monroe has some ideas he would like to work on when he takes over for retiring Chairman and Johnsburg Supervisor Bill Thomas in January. Several board members are looking at a proposal to reduce the number of committees almost by half, Monroe said. He said a group of eight supervisors are studying the proposal and hope to have it ready for the final meeting of 2007 on Dec. 21. Thats a good time to look at it, since at the organizational meeting in January is when we appoint heads of each committee, he said. The county board has 41 committees, some of which dont meet at all anymore, like the ad hoc sales tax committee. There is some opposition to it, but we hope to have a plan by January, he said. Monroe said he plans on appointing Warrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty as the county budget officer to replace outgoing Nick Caimano, who had an unsuccessful challenge for county treasurer. Monroe has headed the finance committee, but as chairman, he wont have as many committee responsibilities as he had. He has suggested Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec to head up the finance committee. Monroe said he would like to continue on as Thomas did as chairman, but he has several issues that he considers important to the county. I think its important to bring broadband internet and cell service to the parts of the county that dont have it, he said. Aside from the safety issue, we have kids who dont have access to the information on the internet like kids with high speed connections. He said that the county needs to be competitive in this day of information technology. Weve lost our resource economy of timber and mining, and I know that (Gov.) Spitzer wants this, so I think with the help of state and federal money, well be able to get it done, he said. If we dont, well leave a lot of people behind. Monroe said that the problem of affordable housing remains in Warren County. In Bolton, the median price of a home is eight times the amount of the median income, he said. In Chester, its twice. The Adirondack Community Trust established by Sen. Betty Little is a bright spot on the affordable housing horizon, and Monroe hopes to build on that. If we could have homes on the market for taxes or foreclosure go to the trust, the family could stay, he said. They would lose some equity, but not their home. Monroe said that he already serves on 13 county committees, so coming to the county municipal center most days wont be much of a change for him. Im already here a lot, he said.

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