Rice resigns from Franklin County Legislature and APA


MALONE — Barbara Rice has resigned as legislator representing Franklin County’s District 7, effective April 26, and also has left the board of the state Adirondack Park Agency.

Rice, D-Saranac Lake, spoke with her former colleagues in the county Legislature via video-conferencing on Thursday to officially announce her resignation.

“This has not been an easy decision for me,” said Rice, adding that she had discussed the issue with her family.

The resignation came about as Rice accepted a new career opportunity, which she did not discuss Thursday.

On Wednesday Rice confirmed to the Enterprise that she had resigned from her in-park seat on the APA Board of Commissioners, to which the governor appointed her in 2016. Asked why, she mentioned the new career opportunity but would not say what it is.

On Thursday Rice described her time on the Legislature as “a privilege and an honor,” thanking the people of Harrietstown and the town of Franklin for choosing her as their representative.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve done and our accomplishments,” said Rice.

County officials offered their thanks to Rice for her work on the Legislature and gave their best wishes for her next position.

“I appreciate all you’ve done for us,” said Legislature Chair Don Dabiew, D-Bombay.

“I’ll miss working with her,” said Legislator Paul Maroun, R-Tupper Lake.

County Manager Donna Kissane said that Rice did an “outstanding job” during her tenure as a county legislator.

Rice, a Democrat, was first elected to the Legislature in 2013, defeating Republican candidate Edwin Randig and independent Curtis Reynolds. She was re-elected in 2016, running unopposed.

In 2017, her colleagues voted to appoint her chair of the county Legislature — the first woman to hold the position in Franklin County’s history. Dabiew replaced her in the position in January.

Dabiew told The Telegram that the Legislature plans to appoint a replacement to serve in Rice’s seat until November, when an election will be held for the remaining year in Rice’s term. He did not provide a timeline for when that appointment will be made.

All seven seats on the Franklin County Legislature run three years, with the next election year scheduled for 2019.

Enterprise Staff Writer Glynis Hart contributed to this report.