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County Legislature kicks off 2012

Republican Buhrmaster alone against 14-Democrat caucus

Minority Leader James Buhrmaster, left, and Majority Leader Gary Hughes, right, escort Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature Judith Dagostino to the podium before she shared remarks after being reappointed to her leadership position.

Minority Leader James Buhrmaster, left, and Majority Leader Gary Hughes, right, escort Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature Judith Dagostino to the podium before she shared remarks after being reappointed to her leadership position. Photo by John Purcell.

— Republican County Legislator James Buhrmaster is now a party of one.

The Schenectady County Legislature held its swearing in ceremonies for elected officials on Tuesday, Jan. 3, with its organizational meeting following. Also, its first committee meetings of the year were held the same night.

Democrats celebrated their recent election victories, which included gaining another seat, before tackling business. Buhrmaster, R-Glenville, rose to minority leader of his party, but he is now the sole GOP voice left on the legislature.

New York State Supreme Court Judge Vito Caruso swore in Buhrmaster and commented on his status.

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James Buhrmaster, right, is now the only member of the Republican Party sitting on the Schenectady County Legislature.

“I know you’ll have a difficult time at caucus, but I’m sure you’ll do well,” Caruso said, which drew laughter from Buhrmaster and the crowd gathered.

Following the recent election, Democrats hold 13 seats in the legislature, but Conservative Holly Vellano caucuses with the Democrats. Buhrmaster holds the only remaining Republican seat in District 3 representing the Towns of Niskayuna and Glenville and the Village of Scotia.

Legislator Judith Dagostino, D-Rotterdam, was unanimously nominated to continue as chairwoman of the county legislature.

“I am both honored and humbled as being selected as chair of the Schenectady County Legislature for the new term,” Dagostino said after being appointed. “While your vote of confidence and support in my ability is appreciated, it is but a small portion of what this deliberative body is charged with performing.”

The successful recent history of the county, she said, was due to hard work and efforts of many people involved, including the county administration.

“They have demonstrated a willingness to consistently go above and beyond the valuable services we provide for our residents,” she said. “Our 2011 success in mitigating Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee serves as one example of what could not have been achieved without their dedication and effort.”

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