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Local News

January 14, 2013

County chairman seeks to help others


He said he is also hoping that the regional trash authority known as MOSA — a joint venture between Montgomery Otsego and Schoharie counties — can stay intact despite efforts by Otsego County to break away and set up its own public-private partnership for waste management.

“I honestly don’t think Otsego County can go in the garbage business and do it as cheap as MOSA does now,” said Skowfoe, who serves on the MOSA board of directors.

Another major project that could impact Schoharie County is the $750 million Constitution Pipeline that, if approved by federal regulators, would channel natural gas extracted in Pennsylvania to two existing pipelines in the town of Wright.

While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the only government agency with authority over such interstate transmission systems, Skowfoe said he thinks towns should be able to assert home rule power in determining whether they be located within their borders.

He said he helped champion a one-year moratorium against heavy industry in his own town until the adequacy of local land use laws is reviewed.

Asked where he stands on local bans against hydrofracking, he said: “I probably could support one. I have a lot of people here who are dead against it. You have to do what the majority of your people want to do.”

Schoharie Town Supervisor Gene Milone, a Democrat, said he has high hopes that Skowfoe will be an effective leader for Schoharie County.

“He is very much acquaint with county operations, and he’s had a lot to offer over the years,” said Milone.

Skowfoe said he is concerned with the lack of employment opportuniteis for young people in New York’s rural communities, and he is also deeply troubled by the impact unfunded state mandates have on county taxpayers. Many people, he said, struggle to pay their property taxes.

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