Partisan rift marks Copake appointments session

COPAKE–The year is new, but old divisions along party lines reasserted themselves when the Town Board met to conduct its 2010 organizational meeting the morning of January 2.

At the annual meeting, where the Town Board sets appointments, designations and policies for the year ahead, the first sign of friction erupted when Republican Supervisor Reggie Crowley asked for a motion to appoint a town attorney. Read more…

Ancram cuts deal on rescue squad costs

Ancram town Justice Robert Wilcox (l) reads the oath of office to new town Supervisor Art Bassin January 1. David Lee photo.ANCRAM–The town has an extra $45,000 to spend on something other than ambulance service coverage in the coming year.

The $132,000 amount allocated in the 2010 town budget to pay costs associated with Community Rescue Squad coverage of the town has been reduced to about $87,000 for the year, Supervisor Art Bassin told those assembled for the annual town organization meeting January 4.

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Chatham man charged in Stockport rape

STOCKPORT—Livingston State Police investigators charged Victor Orozco, 24, of Chatham with first degree rape and first degree burglary, January 8.
Mr. Orozco is accused of breaking into a Stockport residence January 7, holding the homeowner at gunpoint and raping her. The crimes were not random, according to State Police Senior Investigator Gary Mazzacano, who told The Columbia Paper that Mr. Orozco knew the victim. Read more…

Extension chief gets a two-fer

Columbia, Greene offices tap Andrew Turner as single director

CLAVERACK–Consolidation is the buzzword these days in organizations ranging from school districts to municipal governments. And while the goal of creating efficiencies can be easier to envision than achieve, one local service agency has taken a step in this direction starting at the top.

The boards of directors for Cornell Cooperative Extension offices in Columbia and Greene counties have appointed Greene County Director Andrew Turner executive director for both organizations. Read more…

First votes, now ethics

Dems cry foul over county lawyer’s role

TAGHKANIC–The legal battle continues in Taghkanic over which absentee ballots can be counted, with four offices hanging in the balance. And in a new development, Democrats have filed ethics charges against Robert Fitzsimmons, the attorney who represents both the Board of Elections and the town, charging him with a “serious breach of his fiduciary duty as an attorney and as a county employee.”

Mr. Fitzsimmons, who was a deputy county attorney at the beginning of the week when the charges were filed, was named Wednesday by the Board of Supervisors as the county attorney, the top legal officer for the county in civil matters. Attempts to reach Mr. Fitzsimmons for comment were unsuccessful. Read more…