The Seneca County Board of Supervisors held their organizational meeting on Jan. 6 to identify leadership for 2020. While it appeared to be a heated race for chair of the board coming into the night, the way it all unfolded left some in attendance feeling like it was the outcome that should have been expected.
Varick Supervisor Bob Hayssen, a Republican, defeated Waterloo Supervisor Don Trout, also a Republican, for the post of chair.
As the board opened up nominations, Hayssen was the first to receive a first and second for the nomination. After a brief pause, Trout received a first and second for consideration. At that point, both were put up for a vote. While the candidates were voted on individually as options, Hayssen ultimately received enough weighted votes to secure the post.
The final count was 406 to 344, with supervisors David Hayes, Mike Ferrara, Cindy Lorenzetti, Kyle Barnhart, Jim Borst, and Paul Kronenwetter voting in favor. Hayssen also cast a ballot in his own name. Meanwhile, supervisors Mike Reynolds, Ralph Lott, Ron McGreevy, Michael Enslow, and Jim Cleere voted against Hayssen taking the leadership post.
Even though he did not win the chairmanship, Trout was appointed majority leader of the Republican Caucus. Lorenzetti was appointed to the minority leadership role.
Other action taken during reorganization included:
•Margaret Li was appointed to another term as clerk to the Board of Supervisors
•Amanda Porter was appointed deputy clerk to the Board of Supervisors
•Reynolds, of Covert, was appointed finance director
•David Ettman was appointed to another term as county attorney
•Michael Mirras was appointed as public defender
•Walter Gable was appointed county historian
•Rich Ricci was appointed director of off-track betting
•The Ovid Gazette was identified as the county’s official paper
There are a number of new faces on the Board of Supervisors. Here is who makes up the new board and how Seneca County got where it is as it positions itself in a new decade:
Three communities in South Seneca have new leadership. Two are Republicans, and a third is the first non-affiliated representative in Seneca in more than two decades.
Ovid Supervisor Joseph Borst succeeds longtime Supervisor Walt Prouty, and Romulus Supervisor David Hayes defeated incumbent David Kaiser. Lodi Supervisor Kyle Barnhart will caucus with Democrats, even though he is not registered to a particular party. He ran as a Democrat in 2019.
Seneca Falls Supervisor Michael Ferrara takes over from Greg Lazzaro in that role. Lazzaro did not receive his own party’s endorsement to run for re-election in 2019.
Supervisor Michael Enslow, a Republican, and Supervisor James Cleere, a Democrat, will serve in the at-large positions in Waterloo. Those two successfully unseated Supervisor Bob Shipley, who served as board chairman in 2019.
Supervisors Hayssen, Brownell, Lott, Kronenwetter, and Reynolds all secured new terms in 2019 elections.