Former councilman named city attorney

JOHNSTOWN – A former Common Council member was named the new city attorney on Wednesday.

The council appointed Brett Preston of 4 Woodland Drive to the position at the group’s organizational meeting at City Hall.

Preston is a former Third Ward councilman. He resigned in January 2011 to take a Republican commissioner’s position with the Fulton County Board of Elections. He no longer serves in the county position.

Preston replaces former City Attorney Susan Palmer Johnson. He will serve a four-year term as city attorney, being paid $36,000 annually. The council made the appointment on the recommendation of new Democratic Mayor Michael Julius.

“The mayor asked me to do it and I’m certainly happy to help out,” Preston said, following the meeting.

In other council action Wednesday:

The council reappointed two department heads. Cathy VanAlstyne of 708 S. Perry St. was reappointed to a four-year term as city clerk at an annual salary of $41,777. Chandra Cotter of 53 Chestnut St. was also reappointed to a four-year term as city engineer at an annual salary of $63,036.

A time of 7 p.m. was set by the council for starting all city business and committee meetings for the year 2014.

The council set rules and regulations covering the proceedings of the council for 2014.

The Leader-Herald newspaper was designated by the council as the official newspaper of the city of Johnstown for 2014.

These banks were designated as the banks for the deposit of city funds this year: Key Bank, NA of New York, Bank of America, NBT Bank, Citizens Bank, First Niagara, Patriot Federal Bank and JP Morgan Chase.

Designated as official polling places in the city were: Ward One – Trackside Homes (Community Hall), West State Street (Robin Circle); Ward Two – Johnstown Senior Citizens Center, 109 E. Main St.; Ward Three – First Baptist Church, 325 S. Comrie Ave.; and Ward Four – Grace Lutheran Church, 1 W. Montgomery St.

Julius also reappointed Jason Scott of 109 East State St. as deputy city engineer at a $53,560 annual salary; and reappointed Mary Jo Smith of 111 E. Montgomery St. as deputy city clerk at a part-time salary of $14,654.