Confirmation of new lawmaker on legislators’ agenda

Published Jan 10, 2017 at 4:00pm

Confirmation of a new lawmaker will be the first order of business when the Oneida County Board of Legislators meets Wednesday.

Mary Pratt, 510 New Higby Road, New Hartford, is the county executive’s appointment to replace Brian D. Miller in the 16th District. Miller resigned his seat following his election to the state Assembly.

Pratt, retired director of human resources at Presbyterian Homes & Services, was the recommendation of the Bridgewater, New Hartford and Paris Republican committees.

“The three towns of the 16th District are hopeful that we can have continuity of representation and look forward to having Mary Pratt continue the service given by Brian Miller while he was in office,” wrote Kristine Giotto, chair of the New Hartford GOP, in a letter to County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. Miller was a legislator for 15 years.

After three candidates were interviewed, a weighted vote was taken and the results were tallied, with Pratt as the top contender, according to Giotto.

To hold the position after this year, Pratt will have to run in the fall for a full two-year term. All 23 board seats will be on the November ballot.

When a legislator leaves before the end of a term, the county executive appoints a replacement from the same party. The Board of Legislators confirms the choice.

The process is for the political party to submit a name to the county executive. The name sent in by the party is then forwarded to the lawmakers for confirmation.

The legislature meets for the first time this year on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the County Office Building in Utica.

Committee chair

Board Chairman Gerald J. Fiorini, R-7, Rome, has made some committee changes following Miller’s resignation.

Replacing Miller as chairman of Public Works is Michael B. Waterman, R-5, Camden.

The new leader of the Government Operations panel is Colin Idzi, R-2, Oriskany Falls. Idzi replaces Waterman following his elevation to head of Public Works.

Also, Edward P. Welsh, R-19, Utica, has taken Miller’s spot on the money-minding Ways & Means Committee.

Committee assignments are made by the chairman.