January 5, 2012


Homer legislator new county chair

Mike Park takes Legislature helm after 16-3 vote at meeting

ChairBob Ellis/staff photographer
Republican Mike Park sits as Cortland County Legislature chairman Tuesday morning during the biennial reorganizational meeting.

Staff Reporter

Mike Park (R-Homer) was named Legislature chairman at the reorganizational meeting Wednesday by a 16-3 vote, reflecting the Cortland County Legislature’s new Republican majority.
Park was supported by all but three Democratic incumbent legislators.
Tom Hartnett (D-4th Ward), Richard Bushnell (D-5th Ward) and Don Spaulding (D-6th Ward) were opposed, having instead supported Sandy Price (D-Harford and Virgil) for the seat.
Park replaces outgoing chairman Jack Williams, a Democrat, who was defeated by Republican John Natoli in the 8th Ward.
Spaulding said he wanted a Democratic chair but that he thinks Park will be a “good chairman.”
Price voted in favor of Park, saying she wanted to start the year off supporting him once she saw he had the needed votes.
“I felt it was better to start out working with him rather than against,” Price said.
John Troy (D-1st Ward) said he had given his word to Park that he would support him as chairman.
“I think it’s good he will start out having as many people voting for him as possible,” said Troy, adding he thinks Park will do a “great job” as chair.
Park said after the meeting he was honored to be selected as chairman and looks forward to working with the Legislature.
Over the next term he wants the county to focus on a solution for the county landfill.
Park wants more discussion of the options and more agreement between legislators on a solution.
Park said he also wants to see some significant progress with road repairs and he is hopeful to get some mandate relief from the state.
Park said his first objective will be to establish a good rapport with all the legislators and “get a good dialogue between me and them.”
Park took the seat after his nomination by Danny Ross (R-Cortlandville) and successful election as chairman, and proceeded to run the meeting, which appointed key county figures.
All incumbents were unanimously voted in, except Public Defender Keith Dayton, whose seat is being advertised and an appointment expected to be made by month’s end.
Legislature Clerk Jeremy Boylan, Veterans Service Officer Carl Bullock, County Auditor Jane Sharpe and County Attorney Ed Purser were all reappointed.
The chairman is paid an annual salary of $15,000 for the two-year term, while legislators are paid $6,000 yearly and majority and minority leaders receive $6,500.
Price and Susan Briggs (R-Cortlandville) switched roles. Price is now the minority leader and Briggs is the majority leader.


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