Sullivan County Legislature elects new chairman

New Sullivan County Legislator Robert Doherty takes the oath of office from County Court Judge James Farrell. Dougherty was elected chairman of the governing body on Tuesday.

MONTICELLO – Robert Doherty, who was elected to the Sullivan County Legislature in November, was chosen Tuesday to be chairman of the governing body.

Doherty was chosen to lead the county during the annual organizational meeting, and he said he wants more transparency with county government as he tries to tackle other issues this year.

“There are public issues we’d like to address. Some human resources issues and making the county fiscally sound,” he said.

His goals of making the county fiscally sound with be challenged by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to take a cap off of Medicaid, and boost the county’s share to about $600,000, in addition to the $20 million a year for these payments. “That’s the biggest issue,” he said.

As a matter of public safety, Doherty expects the new Sullivan County Jail to open within the next 6-8 weeks.

Doherty, a Republican, succeeds Luis Alvarez as legislature chairman, and Michael Brooks was chosen as the vice-chairman.  Republican Alan Sorensen was named majority leader, and Democrat Ira Steingart will serve as the legislature’s minority leader.

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