LITTLE VALLEY — County Legislator Howard VanRensselaer of Randolph is the consensus candidate for County Legislature chairman for 2020.
VanRensselaer, a two-term Republican legislator from District 4, outpolled Legislator Joseph Snyder of Ischua for chairman. Snyder’s father, James J. Snyder of Olean, is the outgoing chairman.
Andrew Burr of Gowanda was favored for vice chairman by Republicans in the caucus, and Legislator-elect Michael Brisky of Franklinville will be majority leader.
Also named in the Republican caucus were Norman Marsh of Little Valley for assistant majority leader and Legislator-elect Kelly Andreano of Olean, majority whip.
The consensus came after an hour-long meeting of Republican legislators and new legislators who will be taking office in January.
“I want to get everybody working together again and carry on the agendas we’ve had in the past,” VanRensselaer said afterward. “I want to continue to work with our administrator and the department heads, which as far as I’m concerned are the best in the state.”
VanRensselaer is a longtime town official, first elected as town clerk in Machias in 1962. He later went on to serve as Randolph’s supervisor and was a county coroner for 24 years before being elected to the County Legislature eight years ago.
VanRensselaer has served as chairman of the Economic Development and Agriculture Committee for eight years.
Does he have any economic development initiatives in mind he’d like to address as Legislature chairman?
“I believe our Economic Development department head (Crystal Abers) has done an excellent job,” VanRensselaer said. “I’m looking forward to continuing and advancing economic development in Cattaraugus County.”
Responding to a proposal to use money from the future settlement between the Seneca Nation and New York state over casino revenue sharing funds to help build fiber optic cable infrastructure, he said, “We definitely have to improve our fiber optic system in the county. The financing will be up to the County Legislature.”
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)