The Putnam Examiner

Legislature Leadership Remains Unchanged for 2015

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For the second straight year, Carl Albano will hold the gavel and lead legislature meetings at the chairman.
For the second straight year, Carl Albano will hold the gavel and lead legislature meetings at the chairman.

It may be a different year, but the Putnam County Legislature elected the same two officials to leadership positions during the legislature’s annual organizational meeting

Legislator Carl Albano was chosen as chairman and Legislator Ginny Nacerino was picked as deputy chairwoman, though the selections didn’t come without narrow votes to determine it. Albano regained chairmanship by a 5-3 vote, with Legislator Kevin Wright recusing himself and Nacerino snagged deputy chairwoman in a narrow 5-4 decision.

This is the second straight year Albano and Nacerino, usual supporters of the county executive office’s initiatives, have the top leadership positions on the legislature.

Albano, who carries a calm demeanor while leading meetings, said afterward that in 2014 he felt legislators were able to reach numerous achievements and would hope to continue that in 2015.

“The thing that really makes it work is everybody has really good intentions so even though it may get tense, they do the right thing in the end,” Albano said. “And we work as a team and I’m proud of that.”

Nacerino nominated Albano for the top position and characterized Albano as a “hardworking legislator with a personal and professional demeanor.”

Legislator Joe Castellano said during the meeting Albano would “do a great job as our chair.”

Meanwhile Legislator Dini LoBue criticized Albano becoming chairman again, believing he performed poorly over the last year.

“He has demonstrated an appalling misunderstanding of the laws of the legislature in relation to the executive branch,” LoBue said.

Unlike Albano, Nacerino had competition for deputy against Legislator Roger Gross.

Legislator Kevin Wright supported an attempt to name Gross as vice-chairman position

“I think it’s a healthy thing for the legislature to have an infusion of new faces,” Wright said. “And rotation of the hierarchy of the legislature.”

This is the second straight year Gross couldn’t overcome Nacerino to earn the position of vice-chairperson.

“I was disappointed certainly that I didn’t get it,” Gross said. “I have more seniority than the deputy now and I have a lot of experience but you need the votes.”

As for Nacerino, she said she looked forward to being the second-in-command to Albano, noting how well the two have worked together over the last year.

“We collaborate on issues, we speak frequently, we’re a good team,” Nacerino said. “And I have the best interest of this legislative body in mind and I look forward to working with my colleagues in an effective manner.”

Of the two new legislators on the board this year, Toni Addonizio voted against both Albano and Nacerino, while Bill Gouldman, who replaced longtime legislator Sam Oliverio, voted for them.

Because Albano and Nacerino voted to appoint former legislator Lou Tartaro to the board last year after he had just lost a town board election, Addonizio voted against those two receiving leadership positions. She also noted it’s good to have new people take on leadership roles.

“My reasoning is because I became fully aware of how disappointed the Town of Kent was last year based on the controversial appointment of last year’s legislator,” Addonizio said. “My vote last night represented the voice of the people of the Town of Kent.”

Gouldman said he voted for both Albano and Nacerino because it is typical that the chairman and deputy chairperson hold those leadership positions for two years.

“Any individual in that body could be chairman or vice chairman, but at this time I just chose to keep the status quo as it is,” Gouldman said.

When reached for comment later in the week, County Executive MaryEllen Odell said Albano and Nacerino “proved themselves to be good leaders.”

“In the sense they believe in good government, they work well with the administration,” Odell said. “And that they deserve to have another year to be the leaders of the legislature.”

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