Clinton County Legislature Holds 2020 Organizational Meeting | WAMC

Clinton County Legislature Holds 2020 Organizational Meeting

Jan 7, 2020

The Clinton County Legislature held its 2020 organizational meeting Monday evening. The panel swore in two new and three re-elected members and chose a new chair.

The 10-member legislature has flipped control and now has 6 Republicans and 4 Democrats.  Monday’s meeting was procedural and began with the Legislature’s Deputy Clerk Rodney Brown calling on lawmakers to be sworn in.  "At this time I’d like to call upon Clinton County Clerk John Zurlo to administer the Oath of Office to all newly elected legislators and invite them to sign the Book of Oaths. County Clerk."
Zurlo: "I do hereby solemnly swear."
Legislators:  "I do hereby solemnly swear."
Zurlo: "That I will defend the Constitution of the United States."
Legislators: "That I will defend the Constitution of the United States."
Zurlo: "And the Constitution of the state of New York."
Legislators: "And the Constitution of the state of New York."
Zurlo: "And that I will faithfully discharge the duties..."
Legislators: "And that I will faithfully discharge the duties..."
Zurlo: "Of the office of county legislator..."
Legislators: "Of the office of county legislator..."
Zurlo: "In and for the county of Clinton..."
Legislators: "In and for the county of Clinton..."
Zurlo: "According to best of my ability."
Legislators: "According to best of my ability."
Zurlo: "So help me God."
Legislators: "So help me God."

Each newly sworn-in legislator then signed the county’s Book of Oaths.
“So just sign, there’s a pen you can sign right on top of my name right there.”
Legislator: “Right above your name? Okay.”
Zurlo:  “Great.”

Area 8 Republican Mark Dame then nominated Area 3 Republican Mark Henry to serve as the Legislature’s chair for 2020.  “This body is embarking on new and uncharted territory. There are going to be some monumental challenges for Clinton County in 2020, some of them as yet unseen and unknown. And Mark has exhibited leadership qualities throughout his entire career. In fact his entire career has prepared him for this role.  We have all served with Mark in the last two years and we certainly can admire his ability to look at all issues, his non-partisanship.”

Area 10 Democrat Robert Hall seconded the nomination and Henry was unanimously selected as chair. As he took the gavel he thanked and welcomed everyone. Henry then returned to the agenda for nominations for deputy chair, the majority and minority leaders and other legislative officers.  

Following the meeting, Henry said the county is in good shape and that he plans to focus on economic development. "Tourism and sales tax that’s very important to us. We want to ensure that the entire county moves forward and one of the best ways you can do that is to have a strong economy, a strong workforce, an educated workforce, attract businesses and tourists to come here. So those are the things we’re going to concentrate on. There will be other issues as I’m sure you know that come in unannounced so we’ll deal with those as well.”

Area 7 Republican Rob Timmons was elected Deputy Chair of the legislature. Area 2 Republican Francis Peryea will serve as majority leader and Area 10 Democrat Robert Hall is the 2020 minority leader.