PLATTSBURGH — As expected, Donald Garrant was reappointed Wednesday night as chairman of the Clinton County Legislature.
Northern Tier Legislator Celine Paquette had been interested in taking the chair post, but it was agreed by the Republican majority that Garrant would have the position for another year.
Garrant, 63, has been a legislator since 1974. He has served as chair seven times in his career, most recently taking the helm in 1996.
It was Paquette who nominated Garrant Wednesday night. The appointment was unanimously approved.
"I guess I want to be chairman again because we have such a great group of people here to work with,'' Garrant said following Wednesday's organizational meeting.
"These legislators tell you they are going to vote a certain way, and they stick to that. There's no backstabbing with this group. We may disagree on some things and that's fine as long as we know where everyone is coming from because I don't like surprises.''
Garrant issued a list of 10 goals he would like the legislature to strive for in 1999.
At the top of the list were holding taxes down; moving the Emergency Services Center to the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base and implementing Goals 2000.
Goals 2000 is a comprehensive study of county government and how it operates. The county budgeted $50,000 to pay for the study in 1999.
"I think this is very important. It might yield some benefits in that we might find duplication of services and better ways of doing things,'' Garrant said.
If duplication is found, Garrant said he does not favor mass firings, but rather decreasing staff through attrition.
In other appointments made Wednesday night, Paquette was re-appointed as deputy chair and Sam Trombley of Ellenburg, was re-appointed as the majority leader.
Keith Defayette of Peru, the lone Democrat on the 10-member legislature, was named minority leader.
Committee appointments were also made with the only major change being Stephen Bouyea of Beekmantown was named to chair the Personnel Committee.
That committee was chaired by Timothy Lawliss who left the legislature last week to become Clinton County Family Court Judge.
The legislature also agreed to hold five meetings in towns outside Plattsburgh.
Four meetings were held out-of-town last year and were considered a success.
Meetings will be held this year in Champlain, Chazy, Clinton, Dannemora and Ellenburg.