By REBECCA WEBSTER
Recorder News Staff
FONDA -- St. Johnsville town Supervisor Dominick Stagliano will run for the county executive seat for the new Montgomery County government that will be in place Jan. 1, 2014.
Stagliano made the announcement Thursday evening at the Winner's Circle in Fonda during the 2013 Democratic Party Dinner. He is the first to officially announce he will run.
"Last November, the residents of Montgomery County settled a dispute that's been going on ... in Montgomery County for 40 years, more or less, and that was how are we going to govern going forward in a faster world," he said.
The voter-approved county government over haul created an elected executive who would run the day-to-day operations, Stagliano explained, offset by having a nine-person legislature.
"We haven't spelled out how we're going to make this transition so we're going into uncharted territory," he said. "I know one thing: it will require the knowledge of how we currently operate and an understanding of what needs to be done and who has the authority to do it.
"And I believe that I have that knowledge and experience. And soon I will be circulating my petition to run for the office of county executive."
Stagliano has been a supervisor since 1998, with the exception of one year in 2006.
After his speech, Stagliano said he believed in the system and watched it develop since the 1970s, from the original board of supervisors to a county administrator.
"Our experiment with a county administrator failed. When you look at Fulton County, they have a county administrator basically and he's been there since 1991, (and in) Herkimer County he's been there since 1991. Since 1991, we went through county administrators like you would change underwear," Stagliano said. "So the thing was we need to have an elected county executive to work here."
Stagliano said that others along with him fought for bringing that role to Montgomery County.
"And now that it's here, I think I'm in a position through experience and knowledge that I can help make that transition."
He said that his hopes for the position will develop as he goes, but the announcement is out and he already knows there are a number of areas that he would address if in the position.
"We're not going to change Montgomery County's economy overnight, but we can make changes to make the place a better place to work and for people to live."
The young are leaving, Stagliano said, so what the county needs is something to both keep them here and attract them here.
Montgomery County Democratic Chair Bethany Schumann-McGhee said at the end of the evening that she is thrilled to hear the announcement and thinks Stagliano is "phenomenally capable."
"He has knowledge of county government and budgeting and everything that will go into taking a leadership role at the top of the county," she said. "I can't think of anyone more highly qualified to do it."
Schumann-McGhee said she is looking forward, too, to hear who will run from the Republican Party.