Board OKs Thayer as chairman

FONDA – The 2013 Montgomery County organizational meeting on Tuesday left Root Supervisor John Thayer as the Board of Supervisor’s chairman.

Thayer, who assumed the role after the death of former Charleston Supervisor Shayne Walters, is scheduled to serve as chairman until Dec. 31.

Amsterdam 3rd Ward Supervisor Ronald Barone Sr. will continue to serve as the vice chairman for the board, and county Treasurer Shawn Bowerman will remain as the board’s budget officer.

Thayer said among the top priorities for this year will be working on negotiating contracts with the county’s unions, handling Otsego County’s decision to break away from the Montgomery-Otsego-Schoharie Solid Waste Authority, and increasing economic development efforts and exploring consolidation of some services.

Thayer said that while economic development was going well in Eastern Montgomery County, Western Montgomery County is not as developed.

Thayer said he hopes to work with the state Legislature in bringing more jobs to the local area.

Another issue will be preparing for the new county Legislature coming in January 2014.

“We need to maintain a decent working environment and a budget when they take over in 2014,” Thayer said.

The new legislature would be made up of nine legislators representing nine districts, with a limit of four consecutive terms placed on each legislator.

An elected county executive position also will be created.

On the MOSA issue, Thayer said, he wants to work with the state Legislature in regards to the question of who would take ownership of some of the transfer stations in the current MOSA plan upon dissolution.

Thayer said he wants to persuade state legislators to at least amend the home rule legislation that allows Otsego County to withdraw from the authority this year. Montgomery County is currently discussing the same, depending on if Otsego county pulls out as well.

Among MOSA’s holdings are two transfer stations in Montgomery County – in Sprakers and Amsterdam. Also, there are two landfills in the county it needs to take care of. In July, Otsego refused the idea of taking ownership of any landfills and Otsego was hoping to be out of MOSA by the end of April.