Special election costly to taxpayers

ELIZABETHTOWN - The special election to decide who will replace former Congresswoman Kirsten E. Gillibrand in the House of Representatives will cost Essex County taxpayers at least $20,000, county supervisors learned March 2.

The issue was raised by Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas during a regular meeting of the county board as officials enacted 2009 rates for election inspectors.

"Out of curiosity, how much will the Congressional election cost," Douglas asked.

Addressing the board, Republican election commissioner Lewis Sanders and Democratic election commissioner David Mace said the 70 poll workers needed at $160 per person will cost $11,200 alone.

Other expenses include paying voting machine technicians to be on hand should a problem arise; paying approximately $3,000 for paper ballots; and paying town clerks for the extra work and custodians to set up polling machines.

"All of which is not a budgeted cost," Sanders said.

The special election, which will take place Tuesday, March 31, was prompted by the appointment of Gillibrand to the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Hillary R. Clinton, who was tapped as Secretary of State by President Barrack Obama.

Candidates for Gillbrand's seat include GOP candidate and long-time state Assemblyman James N. Tedisco and Glens Falls Democrat Scott M. Murphy.

The pair will vie for the 20th Congressional District seat, which includes five towns in Essex County - all of North Elba, Keene, North Hudson and Schroon Lake and three of six voting districts in Ticonderoga.

In other regular business March 2, county supervisors:

• defeated a resolution to pay $33.63 to Richard Meachem for a part on his truck broken when a county Department of Public Works employee slipped on the ice at the county DPW parking lot and fell in to Meachem's truck;

• passed a resolution asking the governor and state legislature not to close Sharp Bridge Campsite in North Hudson and Pok-O-Moonshine Campground in Chesterfield;

• voted to oppose cuts proposed in the state budget that would reduce the funding to the Rural Preservation Corporation by 40 percent; and

• authorized a budget amendment to spend $258,731 to hire eight additional correctional officers for the Essex County Jail.

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