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New chairman shuffles Lewis legislative committee assignments

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County’s new Legislature chairman has shuffled committee assignments for 2013, with only two lawmakers retaining their prior chairmanships.

Legislator Michael A. Tabolt, R-Croghan, who was appointed Tuesday to the legislative helm after serving under former Chairman Jack T. Bush, R-Brantingham, for the past seven years, said he altered committee assignments, in part, to help resolve lingering issues.

One of the most immediate involves the Rules and Legislation, Workers’ Compensation, Economic Development, Insurance Committee. Legislators last month deadlocked at 5-5 on a proposed resolution that would have effectively eliminated the county economic development director position from the 2013 budget. While the measure failed to gain the six votes needed for passage, it highlighted a split in opinions about current economic development efforts.

Mr. Tabolt chose to retain Legislator Richard C. Lucas, R-Barnes Corners, as that committee’s chairman. However, two legislators who voted to eliminate the director — Charles R. Fanning, R-Copenhagen, and Philip C. Hathway, R-Harrisville — were added to the three-person committee.

Legislator John O. Boyd, D-New Bremen, will continue to head the Courts and Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, Fire Coordinator, Sealer of Weights and Measures, Building Codes Committee. Mr. Lucas will also stay on the committee and be joined by Legislator Jerry H. King, R-West Leyden.

The Taxation, Information Management, Elections, Agriculture, Reforestation Committee also has two returning members in Legislators Paul M. Stanford, D-Watson, and Patrick F. Wallace, R-Lowville, who will move up to chairman. They will be joined by Mr. Fanning.

Mr. Hathway will remain on the Hospital Committee and move up to its chairmanship, which had been held by Mr. Tabolt. Mr. Lucas and Legislator William J. Burke, R-West Lowville, will also serve on that committee.

Mr. Bush will chair the Ways and Means, Buildings and Grounds, County Clerk Committee. That committee, also including Mr. King and Mr. Hathway, will oversee the county office building project being proposed on outer Stowe Street.

Mr. Bush at Tuesday’s meeting encouraged department heads or others to bring concerns about the project to the county manager or committee members.

“We’re really doing this to solve problems, not create them,” he said.

Other committee assignments are as follows:

n County Officers and Employees, Veterans’ Services, Junkyard Inspector, Historian — Mr. King, chairman; Mr. Boyd and Mr. Stanford.

n Public Health, Mental Health — Mr. Stanford, chairman; Mr. Burke and Mr. Boyd.

n Social Services, Office for the Aging, Employment and Training, Youth Bureau — Mr. Burke, chairman; Mr. Bush and Mr. Wallace.

n Transportation, Solid Waste — Mr. Fanning, chairman; Mr. Bush and Mr. Wallace.

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