The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors overturned decades of precedent by not promoting the chair of the Law and Finance Committee to the position of Chair of the Board of Supervisors. Instead they elected Todd Kusnierz, the Town of Moreau Supervisor, to that position. Kusnierz is a member of the insurgent group of Supervisors representing the larger municipalities in the county.
There was a controversy over who drafted the agenda for this meeting which was the Board’s regular reorganization meeting. The agenda is usually the responsibility of the incoming chair (who would normally be the Law and Finance Chair) in consultation with the retiring chair. But with the usual order of succession disrupted, no one, including Kusnierz, would take responsibility for the document.
The Board approved the selection of Steven J. Bulger as the new County Administrator. This ends the tenure of Spencer Hellwig. The usual suspects tried to challenge the motion by arguing that Hellwig was being unfairly fired. The problem was a kind of catch-22 situation. Firing would be a personnel matter creating issues of privacy. No one from the insurgents who voted to replace Hellwig engaged in the discussion. There was eventually a vote approving the appointment of Bulger to replace Hellwig. Gazette reporter Stephen Williams describes Bulger as a “political operative” who is about to lose his job with the federal Small Business Administration when Trump leaves office.
Interestingly, the Board decided to have Tara Gaston act as temporary chair for the purpose of electing the chair of the board. The insurgents needed her vote to elect Kusnierz. This is really unprecedented as well. The Republican Party has run the county for eons. They have always marginalized any Democrats elected to the Board. In his opening remarks, Chairman Kusnierz told the Board that his tenure would be inclusive of race, gender, and party. Rumor has it that Gaston will be chairing a committee.
The fact that the outcome of all the votes were a foregone conclusion, did not keep the usual subjects from tying up the meeting with self-righteous speechifying about alleged abuses by the insurgents.