By Marcello Iaia
KNOX — With the swearing-in of Democrat Amy Pokorny on New Year’s Day, the town board underwent one small change: it is fully elected.
A year ago, Pokorny’s seat was left empty by Republican Travis Stevens after he was elected to the Albany County Legislature in November 2011. The board, which had been bipartisan, after the 2011 election had four Democrats who appointed Pokorny in February despite a campaign by the defeated Republican Michael Swain to be appointed.
This past November, Knox voters again chose Democrats, with Pokorny maintained through the last year of Stevens’s term. A new, four-year term will be decided in November 2013.
There are nearly twice as many Democrats as Republicans in Knox.
Following the recent election, Pokorny told The Enterprise partisanship is not relevant to the job, which she hopes to use to promote wise management of open space and water resources.
“I don’t have an agenda of any kind,” Pokorny told The Enterprise in October. “It’s important to keep taxes down. It’s important to protect the environment.”
If the board moves ahead with a ban on hydraulic fracturing, Pokorny said changes to the comprehensive plan could put the town in better legal standing.
Now retired from government work, Pokorny owns the Octagon Barn venue with her husband, Russel Pokorny, who is the town’s assessor. She is involved with several community groups, including as secretary in the Helderberg Hilltowns Association.
Pokorny was sworn in at the Jan. 1 meeting by Town Justice Jean Gagnon. Four other board members will continue on:
— Supervisor Michael Hammond, now in his 20th term, is the longest serving supervisor in Albany County. He was unopposed in November 2011.
— Dennis Barber is retired from the state’s Department of Transportation and lost a race for highway superintendent in 2008.
— Dennis Decker has been in and out of the Knox council, first serving from 1995 until 2003, when he lost a race. He was elected again in 2005, and lost in 2009, winning his current seat in 2011. Decker was absent from the meeting.
— Deputy Supervisor Nicholas Viscio was re-elected to the council in 2009 for his fourth straight term.
— Kimberly Swain, a Republican, is currently serving her fourth two-year term as town clerk. Her husband is Michael Swain.
Republican Highway Superintendent Gary Salisbury was unopposed in the 2011 election for his fourth two-year term.
All four board members present voted to establish:
— The Altamont Enterprise as the official newspaper of the town;
— The Key Bank, the Bank of America, the Bank of New York, and First Niagara Bank as designated depositories;
— Authorization for the supervisor to invest and reserve funds for the town; and
— Regular town board meetings to be held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m., except for the November meeting, which will be on the first Wednesday following Election Day. All meetings will be held in Town Hall.
The board also made the following appointments on New Year’s Day:
— Mary Alice Geel as deputy town clerk;
— Helen Quay as registrar of vital statistics;
— Deborah Liddle as deputy registrar of vital statistics;
— Lee Martin as Deputy tax collector;
— Cheryl Frantzen as town historian;
— Dennis Decker as emergency preparedness coordinator;
— Nicholas Viscio as deputy supervisor;
— Edward Nicholson as data collector;
— Robert Delaney as building/sanitary inspector and zoning administrator;
— Daniel Sherman as assistant building inspector;
— Louis Saddlemire as park laborer;
— Dennis Barber as ex-officio member of the youth committee;
— Deborah Liddle as court clerk;
— John McGivern as court officer;
— Loren Shafer Jr. as deputy highway superintendent;
— Catherine Bates as account clerk;
— David Quay as landfill attendant;
— Louis Tubbs as landfill attendant;
— Richard Dexter as landfill attendant;
— Carol Barber as minutes recorder for the zoning board;
— Pamela Fenoff as minutes recorder for the planning board;
— John Dorfman as town attorney;
— Robert Edwards as zoning board of appeals chairman, and named these members with terms to expire on Dec. 31 of the following years — Kenneth Kirik (2019), Gail Burgess (2016), James McDonald (2015), John DeMis (2014), Sue Mason (2013), and Edwards (2018);
— Robert Price as planning board chairman, and named these members with terms to expire on Dec. 31 of the following years — Brett Pulliam (2018), Earl Barcomb Jr. (2017), Betty Ketcham (2016), Daniel Driscoll (2015), Robert Gwinn (2014), Thomas Wolfe (2013), and Price (2019);
— Timothy Frederick as board of assessment review chairman, and named these members with terms to expire on Sept. 30 of the following years — Vall Pulliam (2017), Howard Zimmer (2016), Timothy Fredrick (2015), Gerald Irwin (2014), and Joycelyn Farrar (2013);
— Councilman Dennis Barber as ex officio member of the youth committee and named the following members — Jean Gagnon, Jean Forti, Sue VonHaugg, Ann Payne, Chasity McGivern, and MaryEllen Nagengast; and
— Councilman Dennis Decker as ex officio member of the conservation advisory council and named these members with terms to expire on Dec. 31 of the following years
— Chairperson Cheryl Frantzen (2018), Hank Donnelly (2016), Stephanie Baron (2015), and Nathan Giorondo (2014);
The zoning board of appeals has one vacancy, which expires on Dec. 31 of 2017. The conservation advisory council has two vacancies, which expire on Dec. 31 of 2017 and 2013.
The board also established the following salaries:
— Supervisor at $16,672;
— Superintendent of highways at $53,745;
— Town clerk, a part-time post, at $12,585;
—Deputy town clerk paid $12.62 hourly;
— Tax Collector at $5,000;
— Assessor at $12,608;
— Data collector at $4,202;
—Councilmembers at $3,825;
— Justices at $10,143;
— Registrar of Vital Statistics at $1,188;
—Emergency preparedness coordinator at $222;
— Deputy Supervisor, with no salary;
— Building/sanitary Insp. & Zoning Administrator at $9,522;
— Assistant building inspector at $4,096;
— Town historian at $726;
— Court Officer at $1,900;
— Dog warden at $6,687;
— Park laborer at $13.96 hourly;
— Landfill attendants at $11.17 hourly;
— Court clerk at $16.38 hourly;
— Account clerk at $20.56 hourly;
— Deputy highway superintendent salary subject to negotiation with the union;
— Deputy tax collector at $12.62 hourly;
— Minutes recorder at $12.62 hourly; and
— Town attorney at $18,094.