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Markou to start as Greene Treasurer on Hannukah

Nov 18, 2010 6:11 pm
Ariel Zangla-Girard of the Kingston-based Daily Freeman reported on Thursday morning, November 18, that Greene County treasurer-elect Peter Markou is set to assume his new duties a month early.
On Wednesday, the Greene County Legislature unanimously adopted a resolution appointing Peter Markou as acting county treasurer effective Dec. 1 to Dec. 31. Markou, the current Catskill town supervisor, won the four-year term as treasurer in the Nov. 2 election, but was appointed to assume the position early due to the retirement of Willis Vermilyea earlier this year and the resignation of current acting Treasurer Thomas Tracey.

Markou said he was happy with the appointment. He said he will remain Catskill town supervisor until Nov. 30, when his duties will be assumed by Deputy Supervisor Patrick Walsh. Markou said he is also in the process of negotiating with a group of grant writers to assume his consultant duties with the Hudson Development Corp. and the Hudson Community Development Planning Agency.

The Hudson Register-Star includes a full story on Markou's farwell to that job in its Nov. 17 issue. “I think there are challenges and opportunities that will arise,” Markou said of the treasurer position in a story in The Daily Freeman. He said he wants to get into the office, take a look at the county budget and audit and then meet with department heads to see if there are any cost-saving measures that can be implemented.

The issue of the appointment of an acting treasurer to replace Vermilyea sparked a disagreement between the county and Gov. David Paterson over who had the right to fill the vacancy. The county argued it had the right to make the appointment under Local Law 6 of 1981, but the governor’s office said Paterson had the power to fill the position under County Law Section 400 (7).

Upon Vermilyea’s retirement, a majority of the county Legislature appointed Tracey to serve as acting treasurer. Some Democratic legislators questioned the county’s right to make the appointment, prompting Paterson to appoint Alan Pavese of Durham to the position, but Pavese never served in the position. Pavese ran unsuccessfully against Markou in the election.

The governor’s office did not respond to an e-mail in time for this story, as published in the Daily Freeman. Prior to Markou’s appointment, Legislative Minority Leader Sean Frey, D-Durham, and Legislator Forest Cotten, D-Catskill, each said they agreed with the appointment, but again raised concern with the county doing so under Local Law 6 of 1981.