Palmer to leave future in hands of board

Supervisors expected to vote Dec. 31 on County Manager post

Daniel Palmer

Daniel Palmer Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— After a two-hour executive session following the Dec. 17 block of Essex County Board of Supervisors committee meetings, the pending retirement of County Manager Daniel Palmer is on hold.

Palmer sent a letter to members of the Board as well as county department heads saying that he would withdraw his retirement paperwork with the state if he were to be re-appointed by the full board during the Jan. 7 organizational meeting. Action could come earlier, however, at the Dec. 31 Board of Supervisors meeting (10 a.m.), originally scheduled for Dec. 27 but postponed due to the impending winter storm.

The executive session came after Finance Committee chair Tom Scozzafava introduced a resolution thanking both Palmer and his wife, Deborah, for their service to the county. Scozzafava also took the moment to offer his opinion on the manager’s position.

“I do not support the position,” Scozzafava said. “Under this form, it is not working.”

Board Chairman Randy Douglas, of Jay, thought that discussing the position while offering a resolution of thanks to Palmer was ill-timed.

“I do not think this is the time to talk about a position when we are commending the person who is filling it,” Douglas said.

Scozzafava felt that it was the appropriate time because while they were honoring Palmer’s service, they needed to look at future options.

Douglas said that there would be plenty of time to look at the position.

“A lot of people have said that we need to take our time, and I agree,” Douglas said.

Following the discussion, the board went into executive session to talk about the position of county manager as well as clerk of the board, which Deborah Palmer currently holds. She still intends to retire at the end of the year. North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi called for the session.

Palmer has remained quiet on the issue, and could not be reached by press time.

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