Clinton County comprises 1,100 square miles in New York’s northeastern-most corner. It is bordered by Canada to the north, the Adirondacks to the west and south and Lake Champlain to the east. Ten county legislators are tasked with passing laws in the sprawling county. They met earlier this month for their annual organizational meeting.
There’s camaraderie between the county legislators as they file in to their seats to begin their legislative year. Most have been reelected or are in the middle of their terms. Resolution 1 for 2019 was the appointment of a chairperson of the body. Area Six Democrat Patty Waldron nominated Area One Democrat Harry McManus to serve, again, as chair. “Legislator McManus believes strongly in a bipartisan legislature to avoid moving backwards in an antiquated and inefficient structure of Democrats vs. Republican. Legislator McManus values all of our opinions regardless of our political affiliations. We need another year with Legislator McManus’ strong resolve, fortitude and wisdom to accomplish a vision that enhances Clinton County as a whole.”
McManus was approved unanimously as chair. He says in the upcoming year his priority is to secure grants to upgrade infrastructure at the old Clinton County Airport. “We have partnered with the town and I think that we’re in a position where hopefully we will be able to secure grant funding. We look forward potentially to doing this with The Development Corporation and hopefully by the end of January we’ll hear but we don’t know. It is $1 million upfront monies and then another million dollar match so it would be a $2 million water, sewer and roads out in the area where NORSK is. And we hope that then those lots will be for sale for future development and that the money will be, when we sell those lots, returned and this becomes a revolving economic development fund.”
Democratic Majority Leader Patty Waldron says economic growth is the number one priority of the legislature. “Sales tax revenues have been really good in the past few years. We’re hoping that Clinton County is more of a destination than a pass-by and people are actually coming here you know staying at our hotels, spending money here and we hope to see a lot more of that. This county certainly is one of the most pristine counties, I might be a little prejudiced saying that but we have a lot to offer, and I foresee tourism to continue especially with the new flights coming in from D.C. and the work with the Chamber all of us working together to be recognized as a destination. You know we’re very fiscally responsible.”
Legislators also approved Robert Hall as Deputy Chairperson, Waldron as Majority Leader and Republican Mark Dame as Minority Leader for 2019.