Schoharie County supervisors face off at stormy first meeting
SCHOHARIE COUNTY When Fulton Supervisor Phil Skowfoe was seated as chairman of the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors, he said he hoped to get the fractured board to work as a team.
But during the board’s first full meeting of the year, a display of drama made it clear that he’s got a long way to go.
The meeting started with a tirade from Supervisor Dan Singletary, R-Jefferson, who accused Skowfoe of deliberately switching the seats of the new board to put his own supporters facing the TV camera.
Singletary likened what he sees on the County Board as two sides of a football team — the Skowfoe team and the Vroman team, named after former Board Chairman Harold Vroman, R-Summit.
Singletary’s comments came at a time when a new anonymously maintained website has been drawing eyes throughout the county.
It turns out that website — www.schoharie-news.com, filled with accusations, insinuations and vitriol directed at county Treasurer Bill Cherry — is Singletary’s. He said later Friday that he put the site up but said the thoughts expressed on it are others’ as well as his own.
During public comment, Cherry unleashed a four-paragraph statement directed at Singletary and the website.
“You take the very issues that we discuss here in public session and you manipulate, edit and distort them for your own political purposes. Worse yet, you do this behind a cowardly cloak of invisibility and anonymity,” he said.
Cherry said Singletary should be ashamed of himself and told him he won’t know in the future whether any questions he might ask are those of a county board member or “just the self-serving ramblings of an anonymous Internet blogger looking for more fodder for the rumor mill.”
Cherry told Singletary if he had any future questions for the treasurer’s office to send them in writing to the office’s post office box.
“And if you expect a response, I suggest that you have the courage to sign your name to it,” Cherry said.
The back-and-forth consumed about an hour of the county board’s meeting Friday, ending when Skowfoe refused to give Singletary the floor for more discussion.
Skowfoe said he hopes people don’t think the website is an official project of the county government.
As to the drama, Skowfoe offered a simple explanation: “It’s an election year,” he said.