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Donaldson has the experience for the job

To the editor:

The number-one qualification for the Franklin County legislature is EXPERIENCE, and former county Legislator Cliff Donaldson wins that category hands down.

I think we should review some of the things Cliff has done during his tenure in government service. He was a founding board member for North Country Life Flight, which has saved so many lives as it is able to transport patients to Trauma 1 medical centers in Burlington or Albany, saving a great deal of precious time getting the patient to the facility within minutes instead of hours. In addition, Cliff was a founding board member of the Tendercare Tot Center on the grounds of Adirondack Correctional Facility.

Cliff served 13 years as the Essex County manager, dealing with the day-to-day operations of the county. He also helped to coordinate emergency services when a 100-year flood hit the county. He was also involved in the response to the 500-year flood that hit Essex County and the famous ice storm that hit northern New York and southern Canada, causing great damage to the vast majority of our area. Cliff helped organize the response of getting senior citizens, along with other residents and their families who were trapped in their homes, to shelters where they could be warm and guaranteed good meals.

In addition, Cliff has served a deputy village mayor for the village of Saranac Lake and held a seat as a member of the school board for the Saranac Lake Central School District. He served a five-year term on the Board of Education.

Cliff also achieved the position of president of the New York State Association of Counties, where he worked Service Employees International Union (SEIU 1199) to get the legislature and then Gov. George Pataki to agree to a 3% tax cap on the counties’ cost for Medicaid, thereby saving the counties of New York state millions of dollars in Medicaid payments. It also made for easier budgeting, as the normal increases up to this time were in the 18% to 20% range.

Finally, Cliff has always been very supportive of our first responders, especially our volunteer firefighters. Cliff understands the ever-increasing demands placed on our first responders including funding shortages, training/equipment mandates, manpower issues and the need for a new emergency services building in Saranac Lake.

Cliff Donaldson is the only candidate for Franklin County legislature with the experience to help guide us into the future. He is the right person at the right time, and we should all join together and support him on Nov. 5.

Brendan Keough

Saranac Lake

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