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Vote 2011: Winds of change whirling

Gathering at the Steel Pier in Lake George Wednesday, the trio of Lake George Citizens Group candidates victorious in the Nov. 8 General Election discuss immediate objectives in preparing to take office in January. Discussing plans are (left to right): Board Member-Elect Marisa Muratori, Supervisor-Elect Dennis Dickinson, and Board Member-Elect Dan Hurley. The three independent/Democratic office-seekers, backed by the Citizens Group, will constitute a majority of the town board, which for decades has been dominated by Republicans.

Gathering at the Steel Pier in Lake George Wednesday, the trio of Lake George Citizens Group candidates victorious in the Nov. 8 General Election discuss immediate objectives in preparing to take office in January. Discussing plans are (left to right): Board Member-Elect Marisa Muratori, Supervisor-Elect Dennis Dickinson, and Board Member-Elect Dan Hurley. The three independent/Democratic office-seekers, backed by the Citizens Group, will constitute a majority of the town board, which for decades has been dominated by Republicans. Photo by Thom Randall.

County Real Property Services Director Michael Swan defeated Michael O’Keefe, a business teacher seeking to take over the post occupied in recent history by his father, Frank O’Keefe. the elder O’Keefe was renowned for transforming the office by providing financial advice to county leaders — a tradition Swan has pledged to carry forward while making it easier for citizens to pay taxes through electronic bank transfers and credit card payments.

In Queensbury, a duo of newcomers to local politics upset the status quo.

Mark Westcott — a U.S. Congressional aide — and William Mason were elected to two posts as County At-Large Supervisors representing Queensbury alongside incumbents David Strainer and Matthew Sokol.

Meanwhile, incumbent William VanNess — an active, strong voice on the county Board of Supervisors — was defeated.

In Glens Falls, incumbent 2nd Ward Supervisor Peter McDevitt was edged out by challenger Steven Philion by only one vote, leaving 35 absentee ballots to decide the race in the next 10 days or so.

Overall, with the winds of change gusting through the local political scene this fall, five or six newcomers will soon be in leadership roles in Warren County government, making decisions that have substantial effect on local citizens.

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