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County chairman rolls out public outreach

Series of forums and a new website invite comments

Chairman Thomas N. Wood, III

Chairman Thomas N. Wood, III Photo by Julie Cushine-Rigg.

— At the Tuesday, Feb. 28, Saratoga County Board of Supervisors meeting, Chairman Thomas Wood announced that he would be holding four community forums throughout 2012. The first forum will be held on Wednesday, March 14, at 5:30 p.m., immediately following the board’s Agenda meeting.

“Most of the goals and objectives I had established for this year focus on expanding and enhancing communication with the residents of Saratoga County and expanding our budget procedures,” said Wood, who is supervisor of the Town of Saratoga.

Wood has also set up a new webpage at communicatingwiththechairman.com to help residents put a face with his name. Developments at the county level that Wood feels would be worthy to communicate with the public will be posted on the site.

“Many of these are already out there in some other forms, but the concept being that the more you put it out there, the more likelihood there is that more people will see it. …Over the course of the year questions will beput out for residents to respond to,” he said.

Several issues will be represented on the website, where visitors will be able to take surveys. Issues include the nursing home, landfill, unfunded state mandates and county employees contributing to the cost of health insurance will be addressed.

“This gives another chance to let folks know how they cancommunicate with us,” Wood said.

The second communication initiative involves gathering public input at open meetings and is rooted in Wood’s philosophy.

“Good government serves, good government listens, and good government responds,” Wood said. “I want to share and listen to the residents. I’ll listen to anything as long as it’s legal.”

The forums will follow the same format as public hearings, and will allow residents to speak for three minutes each about issues and concerns they may have.

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