Whitney named new election commissioner

— Mark Whitney of Schroon will have to get right to work in his new job.

Whitney, who was approved by the Essex County Board of Supervisors to be the new Democratic Commissioner at the Essex County Board of Elections, will take the job on the verge of several September primaries throughout the county that will be the prelude to the Nov. 5 General Election.

Whitney wasted no time getting to work, as he was on the job Aug. 5, the same day he was appointed.

“I appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve the county and I am grateful to the Democratic Committee for selecting me unanimously and the board of supervisors for confirming my appointment,” Whitney said.

Whitney had previously been working in the Board of Elections office as a clerk/technician, which gives him a knowledge of the department, literally from the ground floor up,” he said.

“Allison (McGahay, Republican Commissioner) and I actually started in the office at about the same time and we compliment each others skills very well,” Whitney added.

Whitney steps into the Democratic chair post a little more than a month before the September primaries.

“It is a very important local election year and the primaries are less than five weeks away,” Whitney said. “Everyone in this office will work hard to make sure that the primary and November elections run smoothly.”

Whitney was approved by the county board during its Aug. 5 monthly full board meeting, but not unanimously. Sixteen supervisors voted in favor of the appointment including Chesterfield’s Gerald Morrow and Elizabethtown’s Margaret Bartley, who offered and seconded the resolution, respectively.

North Hudson Supervisor Ronald Moore voted against the appointment, while Westport Supervisor Dan Connell was absent.

The Essex County Democratic Committee, led by former Crown Point Supervisor Bethany Kosmider, made the recommendation to hire Whitney on July 25. The recommendation was brought before the county Ways and Means Committee before heading to the full board, where Moore was the lone dissenting vote both times.

With the hiring, the board also passed a resolution of appreciation to Robert Pell-deChame, who had served as Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner since July of 2010. He is leaving the area and resigned effective the end of July.

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