Palmer appointed as new County Manager

ELIZABETHTOWN The Essex County Board of Supervisors wasted no time replacing former County Manager Clifford Donaldson Jr. During a regular board meeting on Aug. 4, the supervisors passed a resolution appointing former Personnel Director Daniel Palmer as county manager. The appointment came just days after Donaldson announced his resignation, which took effect Aug. 3. Palmer, a former town supervisor from Minerva and the current department head for information systems, will serve the remainder of the current term, which expires at the end of 2008. In order to accept the appointment, Palmer had to resign as personnel director, an office where he had six years remaining on his term. I do understand that Im trading a 6 year [term] for six months, but Im confident that I can bring whats needed to the table, said Palmer, hopeful that he could earn a second term in 2009. North Elba Supervisor Robert Politi was the only supervisor to express opposition to the appointment, asking the board to reconsider such a hasty decision. Although I hold Dan Palmer in the highest regard, Politi said. I also believe that we as a board of supervisors have a fiduciary responsibility to the citizens of Essex County to conduct a thorough investigation and publicly solicit a request for qualifications for this job. I dont think we can find anyone better for the job or more qualified, said Gerald Morrow, supervisor of Chesterfield. Morrow proposed an amendment to the resolution delineating Palmers salary at $109,000, an $18,000 raise over Donaldsons $91,000 salary. Morrow said that Palmers continued responsibility over the countys information systems and other added duties would justify the increase. Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava expressed support of filling the position quickly, noting that a full-time manager will be needed as the board examines its budget in the coming months. Although I dont disagree with everything Mr. Politi is saying, I do feel a sense of urgency for that one reason alone, he said. Several supervisors lauded Palmer, expressing their full support for his appointment. Dan has helped give this board the information, the direction that we all depend on, said Elizabethtown Supervisor Noel Merrihew. Were always thinking to make informed decisions when we have issues before us. I think Dan has demonstrated his ability to research and cultivate the pros, the cons, the costs, the implications of those for Essex County taxpayers and I can only see him continuing in that process for all the different issues that we have before us. Palmer expressed gratitude for the support and promised his firm dedication to the position. I will make sure that when people talk about Essex County, the one thing they wont be talking about is the Essex County manager problem, said Palmer. As the last order of business at the meeting, Palmer was immediately sworn into office. He named as his deputy, County Clerk Joseph Provoncha, who was also sworn in to his new position.

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