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LeCuyer named St. Lawrence County emergency services director

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CANTON — The St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators appointed Michael J. LeCuyer as the emergency services director at its organizational meeting Thursday.

Mr. LeCuyer is a retired Massena police officer and is a Louisville town justice. He is the emergency preparedness and safety coordinator at Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Potsdam.

Mr. LeCuyer was appointed by a 14-0 vote at a salary to be negotiated at a later date. Legislator Mark H. Akins, R-Lisbon, was absent.

“There’s a salary range that we want to discuss with him,” County Administrator Karen M. St. Hilaire said.

Mr. LeCuyer previously turned down a job with the county as manager of emergency dispatch when Joseph M. Gilbert was director of the department. Mr. LeCuyer was not at the meeting.

Mr. LeCuyer beat out interim Emergency Services Director Keith J. Zimmerman — another candidate for the job — who is also the county’s planning director and information technology director.

Mr. Zimmerman said he was interested in the emergency services job, which probably would have meant giving up his planning and IT positions, because of the opportunity. “I think it’s one of those areas where the blending of skill sets of first responders and planners was a natural fit,” he said. “It was a unique challenge to look at emergency services from a different perspective.”

Even though he did not end up with the job, Mr. Zimmerman said his stint in emergency services will prepare him better as a planner.

Mr. Zimmerman had the support of several Canton firefighters who came to the meeting.

“Should they choose Mr. Zimmerman, I think he’s well-suited,” Canton Fire Chief Robert M. Crowe said.

During the board’s organizational meeting, Legislative Chairman Jonathan S. Putney, D-Waddington, was elected to a second term as chairman by a 9-5 vote over Legislator Alex A. MacKinnon, R-Fowler.

Mr. Putney did an outstanding job leading the county through a tough budget time, said Legislator Gregory M. Paquin, D-Massena.

Mr. MacKinnon, who has served more than 20 years as a legislator, also has a sterling record, said Legislator Joseph R. Lightfoot, R-Ogdensburg.

“Being this is his last year, I think it would be appropriate for him to lead,” Mr. Lightfoot said.

Mr. Putney noted some of the highlights of 2013 for the Legislature, including the increase in the sales tax, which is being accompanied by a decrease in property taxes; the Bassmaster Elite Tournament in Waddington, which raised the profile of the county as a fishing destination; the advent of the multitrail system; the preservation of the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, Ogdensburg, and the receipt of some outstanding state tribal compact funds, among others.

Legislator Donald A. Peck, D-Gouverneur, will remain board vice chairman, and the chairmen of the committees of Finance, Services and Operations will stay the same.

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