Callard stays as Legislature leader
ALBION The seven-member Orleans County Legislature, with three new members to start a new term, is keeping the group’s most veteran member as the body’s leader.
David Callard, a retired banking executive, has served 20 years on the Legislature, including the past four years as chairman.
“He’s brought a lot of cohesiveness and wisdom to the Legislature,” said Legislator Lynne Johnson of Lyndonville.
She made the motion for Callard to serve as chairman, and he was unanimously supported by the other legislators.
The Legislature will have a new vice chairwoman. George Bower served in that role the past two years. He retired from the Legislature on Dec. 31. Johnson received unanimous backing for the role in the next two years. She has served on the Legislature for six years, including chairwoman of the Public Safety Committee.
John DeFilipps, a new legislator from Clarendon, said Johnson has been committed to the legislator job, particularly with the upgrade to the county’s radios and emergency communications system.
Callard expects 2014 will be a big year for the county government. After many years of laying the groundwork, the new $7.1 emergency communications system should be operational this year. County officials will have a ground-breaking celebration for the project at 3 p.m. on Jan. 15 at the Emergency Management Office on Countyhouse Road.
Another project that has been a few years in the making could bear fruit this year. County and town leaders have been discussing and brainstorming ways to expand high-speed Internet in the county, especially in the rural areas.
“We’re going to take a serious look a Broadband this year,” Callard said.
The dredging of the Oak Orchard Harbor is several years overdue. Sediment that was built up in the port will be removed in June or July, Callard said, ensuring a navigable channel for boaters.
The county also is talking with neighboring Genesee and Niagara counties about shared services. The county last year reached a deal with Genesee to share a public health director, Paul Pettit of Albion. Callard said more shared staff could be announced this year, reducing costs to both counties.
He will discuss his goals for the county for 2014 during a “State of the County” address, which he expects to deliver in February.
The Legislature has three new faces, which is highly unusual for the board in the past two decades. Bower retired and his countywide position is now filled by DeFilipps, who served on the Clarendon Town Board for the past 12 years.
He owned a convenience store and gas station in Clarendon for 10 years and also worked 28 years at General Motors in Rochester before retiring six years ago. He recently helped develop the Red Rock Ponds RV Resort in Murray.
DeRoller replaces Ken Rush of Carlton, who didn’t seek re-election after 14 years in a district that includes the towns of Carlton, Kendall and Murray, as well as the village of Holley.
DeRoller worked 38 years at Kodak, retiring 11 years ago in the information technology department as a business analyst. DeRoller also worked as Kendall’s town assessor and served 25 years on the Town Planning Board, including 15 years as chairman.
Fred Miller defeated Henry Smith in the November election for a district that includes the towns of Albion and Gaines, as well as the village of Albion. Miller is the first Democrat on the Legislature since Gary Kent was last on the Legislature four years ago. Miller has been an Albion village trustee the past five years. He has owned Family Hardware in downtown Albion since 1986.
The legislators are each paid $10,948 for the year with the chairman at $16,424. Those salaries haven’t changed in seven years.