Gillilland reappointed Essex County chairman

ELIZABETHTOWN _ Willsboro town Supervisor Shaun Gillilland was reappointed chairman of the Essex County Board of Supervisors on Monday, Jan. 4.

Gillilland, a Republican, was appointed to his third one-year term as chairman during the board’s annual organizational meeting.

“Mr. Gillilland has done an excellent job in this unprecedented time for our county,” said Moriah town Supervisor Tom Scozzafava, who nominated Gillilland for the position. Scozzafava’s nomination was seconded by Keene town Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson Jr., and Gillilland’s reappointment vote was unanimous.

Unlike the typical swearing-in ceremony, for which the entire 18-member board would be gathered at the county complex in Elizabethtown, Gillilland was sworn in before a camera this year. As the coronavirus continues to spread — this county reported its highest number of active COVID-19 cases ever in the last few days — some supervisors watched the ceremony remotely or listened in via teleconferencing software.

Gillilland called the reappointment “a wonderful and true honor,” and thanked the county’s staff and department heads for their hard work.

“We have come out of this last year in good economic and financial shape in this county,” he said. “We didn’t have to lay off any workers. We are not in crisis.”

Gillilland described the county as a ship navigating troubled waters, with challenges still ahead.

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your confidence in me,” he told his colleagues.

Lewis town Supervisor Jim Monty was reappointed vice chairman of the board.

At its meeting on Monday, the board also honored former state Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, who retired recently after serving in that position for 25 years. Little was not present for the meeting. Gillilland said she was traveling to Florida.