Dabiew re-elected to lead Franklin Co. legislature

County Legislator Don Dabiew, right, D-Bombay, takes his oath of office as chairman of the legislature from county Clerk Kip Cassavaw Tuesday morning in Malone. Dabiew is beginning his second term leading the Legislature after he supplanted Barbara Rice, D-Saranac Lake, last year. (Photo — Frank DiFiore, Malone Telegram)

MALONE — Don Dabiew was re-elected to chair the Franklin County legislature on Tuesday.

The county board met for its annual reorganizational meeting Tuesday morning in order to elect officers and pass the year’s first resolutions.

Dabiew, a Democrat representing the county’s Fifth District — which includes the towns of Bombay, Moira, Waverly, Brandon and Dickinson — was first elected county chair last year, replacing Barbara Rice, D-Saranac Lake. Rice has since taken a job with the state and left the county board.

Dabiew took his oath of office from Franklin County Clerk Kip Cassavaw immediately after the vote.

Addressing his colleagues, Dabiew outlined a number of priorities for the county legislature in 2019, including:

¯ resolving the land claim with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

¯ keeping up with maintenance for county buildings and grounds

¯ supporting the expansion of broadband internet access

¯ continuing to work with the towns on maintaining county roads.

“We need to continue to control costs,” said Dabiew, regarding the state of county roads.

The reorganizational meeting also marked the first meeting for new legislature Clerk Penny Premo in her official capacity; Premo had spent several months shadowing former clerk Gloria Valone to learn the ropes of the position.

Legislator Greg Janisewski, D-Chateaugay, was elected vice chair for 2019, replacing Carl Sherwin, D-Malone. Janisewski previously served as majority leader.

“I’m looking forward to the new year,” said Janisewski.

Legislator Paul Lauzon, D-Fort Covington, was elected majority leader, while Paul Maroun, R-Tupper Lake, was re-elected minority leader.

In addition to the reorganizational meeting, the county legislature also convened an executive session Tuesday morning to interview candidates for the position of director of veterans services.

County Manager Donna Kissane told the Telegram that the county legislators had narrowed down the search to three finalists, though one of them later withdrew the application. The remaining two candidates came across as “excellent,” according to Kissane.

A decision on the new veterans’ services director is expected soon.

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