Savage steps down, joins Cuomo

Scotia Trustee Cathy Gatta tapped for seat; Dagostino new chair

The head of the Schenectady County Legislature is changing hands, and a newer face to the political scene will step up to fill the vacancy.

Former Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature, Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna, announced Thursday, April 14, that she was stepping down to take a position as the deputy commissioner of Tax and Finance for the Office of Real Property Services with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration. Her new title carries a salary of $106,000.

On Monday morning, April 18, Democrat Judith Dagostino, formerly vice chair of the County Legislature, assumed the role as chairwoman. Scotia Trustee Cathy Gatta has been chosen by County Democrats to fill Savage's District 3 seat vacancy, but the legislature will vote on the appointment.

The legislature is comprised of very smart, hard-working people who are not only friends, but respected colleagues. I leave the County Legislature very confident that the work we have done together is going to continue, said Savage. "I am extremely confident in the leadership of Judy Dagostino. Judy is a quiet and strong leader who will do a tremendous job as chair and has the respect of every member of the legislature."

Savage said she thought she was leaving the county stronger and better off than when she began serving as chairwoman in 2004. She joined the legislature in 1998. A main accomplishment Savage pointed to was establishing the county's Office of Economic Development and Planning. Often during her tenure, along with her unsuccessful 2010 bid against Sen. Hugh Farley, she touted the economic development of the county and the revitalization of downtown Schenectady she helped facilitate. Savage said she helped create 3,500 new private sector jobs and secured $400 million in investments to the community. She also noted General Electric's Alternative Energy Headquarters and new sodium battery plant as important projects for the county.

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