Board considers next GOP commissioner

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday will consider appointing former board chairman and Broadalbin Supervisor Lee Hollenbeck as the county Board of Elections’ next Republican commissioner.

Both the Republican and Democratic parties have part-time election commissioners who administrate the board office on Route 29, work closely with the Board of Supervisors’ Finance Committee, and rule on various election matters.

According to the Board of Supervisors, election commissioner is a part-time, 10-hour per week position paying $1,305 annually.

Currently serving as Democratic election commissioner is Lynn Rubscha.

The numbers of registered Republican voters in the county overshadow Democrats by more than a two to one ratio.

The Board of Supervisors’ Finance Committee is sponsoring a proposed resolution to name Hollenbeck as county GOP commissioner, effective immediately, at the board’s meeting at 1 p.m. Monday at the County Office Building. Commissioners serve two-year terms.

Fulton County Republican Committee Chairwoman Susan McNeil said Friday she met recently with top Republican officials and full-time election office staff, and Hollenbeck’s name was advanced forward for supervisors’ consideration.

“I met with the [Republican Committee’s] Executive Committee and I interviewed Lee and another person,” McNeil said. “Lee was just a good fit.”

Hollenbeck, of County Highway 126, couldn’t be reached Friday for comment.

He would replace former Republican Election Commissioner Brett Preston, who stepped down before the start of the year. McNeil said Preston didn’t want to be reappointed again.

Hollenbeck is a farmer who served 12 years as a Republican town of Broadalbin supervisor. During his tenure, he served as chairman of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors and was a longtime chairman of that board’s Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee.

During his tenure in the town of Broadalbin, he cited improvements to the town’s municipal complex, work on the Union Mills Road water line project, improvements to a bridge on Hagadorn Mills Road and low taxes. He had public disputes with several town officials over the years.

He is a current member of the Fulton-Montgomery Community College Board of Trustees. It was unclear Friday if he has to resign if appointed Fulton County Republican election commissioner.

Hollenbeck announced in April 2009 that he wouldn’t seek re-election as Broadalbin supervisor, eventually succeeded by Republican Joseph DiGiacomo. But Hollenbeck has stayed involved in Republican politics and has continued to be an active member of the Fulton County Farm Bureau.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at