Annual organizational meeting is Tuesday January 3
W. Brooke Harris to become Chairman, Kevin “Fred” Demick will be Vice-Chair
By Andrew Harris
This week, a new slate of leaders will be sworn into office in the Allegany County Legislature. While the fifteen member board are the same team as last year, the leadership will be changing.
Last year, when Phil Stockin took the Chairman’s role from recently retired Curt Crandall, he made it very clear that his role was to ensure a smooth, stable transition. Stockin, who openly admits, “I really enjoy government, but I really dislike politics,” has accomplished the mission and will now be moving back into a role of District 1 Legislator.
Enter Brooke Harris, in his second term representing District 5 from Alfred NY. Harris has served as the Chairman of the Budget committee and Chairman of the Ways and Means committee and outside the county as the President of the Inter-County Association of Western New York. Only 44 years old, Harris will be one of the youngest legislators to take on the Chairman role. A fiscal conservative, Brooke made news during 2022 for spearheading the resolution to move $500,000 from the county “fund balance,” to directly offset property taxes.
The new Vice-Chairman of the Legislature will be Kevin “Fred” Demick. Fred has only been on the board for a year but he has made a big impact, particularly on the Public Works committee. When Demick ran for the District 1 seat his bio read: “…. a lifetime resident and longtime Angelica Town & Village Highway Superintendent, brings a wealth of Municipal experience with over 30 years of service to both the Town and Village of Angelica.” Fred also served as the President of the Allegany County Superintendents Association. While Demick maybe newly elected, he is very well versed in how local government operates and has a wealth of experience to bring to the table.
The new leadership isn’t the only change in Allegany County government. The nuts and bolts of any legislature is the committee system. In a nutshell; most ideas, initiatives, resolutions, contracts, or any spending of taxpayer money must start in a committee. If that committee approves, the matter at hand moves forward for a full board vote. Committee leadership is very important and a large part of the job that a legislator signs up for.
Here are the 2022 committee assignments which will be updated by the new Chairman at the end of the re-organizational meeting on Tuesday. That meeting will be live streamed on the county Facebook page.