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Schenectady County legislature fills Metroplex seats

Five new members, including Rotterdam Town Attorney Pat Saccocio, were appointed by the Schenectady County Legislature to the 11-member Metroplex Board on Wednesday, Feb. 13.

Chairwoman of the County Legislature Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna, cast the only vote against Saccocio. She said she saw a conflict of interest between sitting on the Metroplex Board and being an attorney practicing real estate law.

There could be the appearance that maybe the appointment could benefit Mr. Saccocio personally or in his business.

Saccocio was not at the meeting.

Rotterdam had been without representation on the Metroplex Board since last summer when Art Brassard left the position to take a job as Republican commissioner of elections for Schenectady County.

At the County Legislature's regular meeting last month, Girard Parisi, a fellow Rotterdam town attorney and Saccocio's law partner, spoke during public privilege of the floor urging the Legislature to appoint Saccocio. He said the Legislature was required by law to appoint someone to represent each of the county's municipalities, including Rotterdam.

In later conversations, Parisi and other Rotterdam officials said that if Saccocio had not been appointed, legal action would likely have been brought against the county.

Almost exactly one month before the Feb. 13 meeting, Savage guaranteed all Metroplex appointments would be made at one time within one month.

Members of the Metroplex Board serve five-year terms. Members are first recommended by either town supervisors or the mayor of Schenectady and then are subject to interviews by the County Legislature.

Saccocio was recommended to the County Legislature by Rotterdam Supervisor Steven Tommasone, who previously called the delayed appointment "a political move by the Legislature to keep Rotterdam off the board."

Rotterdam's Town Board has a 4-to-1 Republican majority, while the County Legislature has an 11-to-4 Democratic majority.

Savage denied the claims that the appointment was delayed because of party politics. She said that the appointments were backed up because of a busy legislative calendar at the end of 2007. She also cited the death of her father Chuck Savage, a former Cayuga County legislator, as a reason for the delay.

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