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Putney expected to be re-elected as St. Lawrence County Legislature chairman


St. Lawrence County Legislative Chairman Jonathan S. Putney, D-Waddington, is expected to be re-elected chairman at the board’s reorganizational meeting Thursday.

“It’s been a great opportunity to serve and I’d like to continue,” Mr. Putney said.

Although the board has an election every year for chairman, the same person usually serves two consecutive years.

Republicans are expected to nominate an opposition candidate, Legislator Alex A. MacKinnon, R-Fowler, even though Democrats outnumber Republicans nine to six.

“The minority doesn’t have a lot to say,” Legislator Joseph R. Lightfoot, R-Ogdensburg, said.

Mr. MacKinnon is the senior member of the legislature.

“He has more experience on the board than anyone,” Mr. Lightfoot said. “He is a former chairman. He not only has the time but he has the background of how the place should be run.”

Mr. MacKinnon said he appreciates the gesture from his fellow Republicans. “I don’t suspect I have a very good chance of winning,” he said.

Other leadership positions on the board are not certain.

Legislative Vice Chairman Donald A. Peck, D-Gouverneur, said he would be willing to serve in the post again, but would prefer to be chairman of either the Operations or Services committees.

Republicans said they would not know until their caucus Thursday whether they will nominate someone for vice chairman.

Frederick S. Morrill, D-DeKalb Junction, the primary creator of the county’s five-year plan that lowers property taxes in 2014 and then keeps them at the state’s 2 percent tax cap, likely will remain as Finance Committee chairman.

“I’d like to finish and get this five-year plan updated,” he said.

Mr. Putney said he was happy with the present leadership but was open to discussion.

“I don’t imagine there will be massive changes,” he said.

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