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Madison County: Becker takes helm

Supervisor John M. Becker (R,C,I -- Sullivan) was voted in as chairman of the Madison County Board of Supervisors Jan. 8. Fellow supervisors voted 987 to 513 to replace 20-year veteran Supervisor Rocco J. DiVeronica (R,C -- Lenox) with the sophomore supervisor.

Among the votes for Becker were those of six of the seven new supervisors elected in November.

DiVeronica has served as chairman for the past eight years.

Supervisor Elizabeth C. Moran (D -- Cazenovia) nominated Becker for the position; her nomination was seconded by Supervisor Russell Cary (R,C -- Fenner). Supervisor Scott Henderson (R,C,I -- Oneida Wards 1-3) nominated DiVeronica for a fifth term at the county's helm.

"I've heard it said that it's time for a change in Madison County," Henderson said. "I think it's time for a change when change is appropriate."

Henderson said DiVeronica earned the right to return to the position of chairman because of his work on Native American issues, establishing effective committees and fiscal conservation in managing a budget "crippled" by Medicaid costs.

Supervisor Walt Jaquay (R,C -- Hamilton) seconded Henderson's nomination.

Receiving no other motions for other candidates, Clerk Cindy Urtz polled each supervisor in alphabetical order by town name. In the end, party affiliation did not seem to affect the vote. Supervisors John Salka (R,C,I -- Brookfield), Moran, Daniel Degear (R -- DeRuyter), Priscilla Suits (R,D -- Eaton), Cary, James Goldstein (D,C,I -- Lebanon), Darrin Ball (R,I -- Lincoln), Richard Williams (D -- Nelson), Richard O. Bargabos (R -- Smithfield), Becker, John A. Reinhardt (R -- Oneida Wards 1, 2 and 3), James V. Rafte Sr. (D,C -- Oneida Wards 4, 5 and 6) and Lewis Carinci (D -- Oneida Wards 4, 5 and6) voted in favor of Becker.

DiVeronica took the votes of Russell Hammond (R -- Georgetown), Jaquays, Ronald Bono (R -- Madison), Alexander Stepanski (R -- Stockbridge) and Henderson in addition to his own.

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