Local Law #2 of 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 – 9:00 a.m.



Randy Preston, Chairman

Shaun Gillilland, Vice‑Chairman


Chairman Preston called this Public Hearing to order at 9:00 am with the following Supervisors in attendance:  Robin DeLoria, Shaun Gillilland, Michael Marnell, Steve McNally, Dean Montroy, James Monty, Jerry Morrow, Randy Preston and Joe Pete Wilson.


Department Heads present were: Judith Garrison and Dan Palmer.


Deputies present:  Jim Dougan


Also present:  William Kuntz.


News media:  None present.



PRESTON:  We are going to call this public hearing to order.  Would you all rise as we salute the flag.


GARRISON:  Essex County Notice of public hearing of proposed Local Law No. 2 of 2018.

Please take notice that the Essex County Board of Supervisors will hold and conduct a public hearing at the supervisors’ chambers at the Essex County Government Center, 7551 Court Street, Elizabethtown, New York on the 16th of January, 2018 at 9:00 a.m., on the proposed local law no. 2 of 2018 entitled “a local law fixing the 2018 salary of the Public Defender who is appointed for a fixed term.”

Please take further notice that at said public hearing to be held at the time and place set forth above, the Essex County Board of Supervisors will consider this proposed Local Law and hear all persons interested therein concerning the same.

Please take further notice that a copy of the full text of such proposed Local Law No. #2 of 2018 may be obtained upon request from the Clerk of the Board’s Office, 7551 Court Street, Elizabethtown, New York  12932. Judith A. Garrison, Clerk Essex County Board of Supervisors.  Dated:  January 2, 2018.


PRESTON:  Are there any members of the public that wish to speak.  You do sir?  Would you please come forward so we can all hear you.


KUNTZ:  Good early morning.  I’m not sure but it doesn’t appear that there is a quorum to work for a local law?


PALMER:  There doesn’t need to be a quorum for a public hearing.


KUNTZ:  Alright. I submitted a copy of a letter from thirteen years ago and philosophically it seems to me that it is inappropriate for the Government to pay for both the prosecution and the defense of individuals. I know there is a lot of state law and press to have equal representation but to have the Government, the local Government control the purse strings of both the District Attorney’s office and the Public Defender’s office seems wrong and the older system and I used to work for the I believe the first Public Defender, Mr. Hatch years ago where if the family could not come up with the means the court would generally appoint a lawyer.  There is a sad lack of lawyers in this county, there’s a lot of things that go under the boards that if there were more lawyers here more things would happen and I don’t know if most of you are familiar with the story of Mr. Conlin who was basically run not only out of town out of State and out of the country due to a clash with Mr. Briggs and the former Assistant DA, Debbie Whitson there is a sad comment to my knowledge on exactly what happened and I’ll leave it at that.  Thank you.


PRESTON: Thank you.  Any members of the board that has any comments, concerns?


MONTY: Just one quick one Randy, you knew I had to come up with a question.


PRESTON:  Well, I figured something.


MONTY:  Now is it the same as the DA where the State sets that salary or do we set it ourselves within the county?


PALMER:  We set the salary as Public Defender ourselves. Only the District Attorney’s salary is tied to the Judge’s salary that is a statewide rule for District Attorney’s.  It can be amended by a change in charter for county law so to speak, you can amend that if you choose to but most counties do not they follow the state law that says the District Attorney is paid at the same rate as the county Judge’s but the Public Defender is strictly set by this board sets the salary for that.


MONTY:  Thank you.


PRESTON:  Any other comments, concerns from members of the board?  If not, we stand adjourned.  Thank you.


            As there was no further discussion to come before this Public Hearing it was adjourned at 9:05 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,




Judy Garrison, Clerk

Board of Supervisors