In order to listen to the April 21, 2020, meeting of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, you had to call in to a posted number. The quality of the sound was appalling. This added an almost comic dimension to a meeting that was pure chaos. In one instance, Director of Human Resources Marcy McNamara was asked by a question by a Supervisor that the Supervisor made clear required a simple yes or no answer. What followed was at least fifteen minutes of Ms. McNamara’s wandering consciousness occasionally interrupted by the Supervisor’s repeated request that she answer his question.
For those of you who listened in and were baffled by the proceedings, be of good cheer, I feel fairly confident that the Supervisors present were equally baffled. If there were ever the need for proof regarding the incompetence of the leadership of our county government, listening to their meeting would be the gold standard.
The Open Meetings Law requires that they make available the transcript of the meeting (unlike Saratoga Springs they do not video the meeting and post it). Without the transcript it will be extremely difficult to report on what happened. I will try to reach out to my contacts to get their input on what occurred and do a later post.
A Eulogy That Tells It All
At the beginning of the meeting a Supervisor gave a long eulogy for Mindy Wormuth. The speaker did not think to identify himself but I assume it was Supervisor Preston Allen who is Chair of the Board. Ms. Wormuth was the Supervisor for the town of Halfmoon prior to the scandal that resulted in her resignation and her going to jail. I covered this story at some length in a post I did regarding Supreme Court Justice Chauvin. Justice Chauvin was the town attorney for Halfmoon at the time and his role in this scandal was the subject of an investigative story in the Times Union.
The eulogy went on at some length with the kind of praise one would have expected for a beloved family member. I do not like to speak ill of the dead but the reality is that she exploited her office for personal gain for which she was caught and punished with fines and jail time. The myopia of her eulogy reflects the basic blindness to ethics, procedure, and openness that has infected our county government.
In 2013, Wormuth was asked to resign from her post by town board members following FBI probes into her business dealings. Wormuth was arrested on Oct. 18, 2013 and sentenced in December 2015 to a year and one day in federal prison for taking cash bribes in exchange for using her government position to lobby state and Saratoga County officials. Wormuth admitted stealing thousands of dollars from a campaign account in a series of thefts dating to 2009.Times Union April 19,2020