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Franklin County Legislature welcomes new and veteran members

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MALONE - It’s a new year, and with that comes three new faces to the Franklin County Board of Legislators.

New legislators Don Dabiew, D-Bombay; Carl Sherwin, D-Malone; and Barb Rice, D-Saranac Lake, were all sworn in to their respective districts Thursday while re-elected legislators Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay; Gordon Crossman, D-Malone; Paul Maroun, R-Tupper Lake; and Tim Smith, D-Fort Covington, all took the oath to begin new terms.

Returning legislators welcomed the three new members of the board, but also warned them of what lies ahead.

“I just want to welcome the new people here and the burden is on your shoulders right now. Does it feel heavy?” Mr. Smith asked with a laugh.

There were no surprises in who was chosen as chairman –– Mr. Jones was unanimously appointed by the board for the second year in a row. His appointment was met with a round of applause and a standing ovation from the dozen or so spectators.

“I’m humbled and honored to be chosen as the chairman,” Mr. Jones said. “I thank you very much, but the work really lies with you folks and ... I’m extremely happy to work with this group. I look forward to a positive year that benefits the whole county. We do have our work cut out for us, but I have a lot of confidence in this group that we ... can do it.”

Mr. Crossman was also chosen vice chairman, a position he also held in 2013.

Mr. Smith was appointed majority party chairman and Mr. Maroun, by default since he is the only Republican, was chosen as minority leader.

Mr. Maroun spoke positively of the year to come.

“We’ll work together like I said at the end of last year,” he said. “Rarely in this chamber have I seen any political type of activities go on except for appointments and that goes with the turf, so I look forward to working with all of you and I know that Barbara and I and Mr. Crossman, who represents part of the south end with us, will work hard to make sure the whole county is considered in day-to-day operations.”

County Attorney Jonathan Miller and county Auditor Fran Perry were both reappointed to their positions.

The next regular board meeting is set for Jan. 19 with an 11:30 a.m. call to order.

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