It was a packed room at the Chemung County courthouse for the swearing in of newly elected Chemung County Executive Chris Moss and County Treasurer Jennifer Furman.
“I wish this many people showed up for jury duty,” Honorable Chris Baker quipped before the swearing in ceremony began. He also joked that the courthouse could use an elevator, but he’d be happy to start with a new carpet for the newly renovated courtroom. Baker swore in Furman, followed by Moss.
Furman said that everything she does in her new role will be guided by the oat of office she took. She said it will be a busy time for her, as she oversees the transition. She plans to ramp up an internal audit and how to best manage funds for the county.
“Not the fun stuff that Chris gets to do,” she joked. She thanked those who voted for her, adding, “I am honored and humbled by your faith in me.”
Moss spoke briefly, thanking his family for their support as well as everyone who voted for and supported him. He also thanked outgoing county executive Tom Santulli, not only for four decades of public service, but for making the transition process a smooth one.
He also recognized Undersheriff Bill Schrom, saying, “Our careers have run parallel for thirty years… I couldn’t ask for a more capable, dedicated, and loyal individual. I look forward to seeing Bill Schrom as our next sheriff.”
He thanked the voters of Chemung County. “The voters had a a clear and concise message that they’re ready for a new county government. A county government that’s more open and transparent. A county government that remembers that there are small towns and communities that deserve the same chance that we give to our larger municipalities.”
Moss laid out “an aggressive agenda” for the first 90 days of his administration including a law requiring live webcasts of all county meetings, including committees and county legislative meetings. Additionally, he laid out plans for a resolution outlining term limits for the office of county executive and legislature to be voted on by county residents at a referendum this Fall. Moss also proposed a county resolution for a new county-wide ethics policy that he said will offer a more open and transparent communication involving all county business and personnel.
“The torch has been passed on several ongoing economic development projects throughout he county and in the coming days I’l be making appointments to the Chemung County Industrial Agency Board,” Moss said. “I think you’ll be pleased with the new board, and the City of Elmira will have an appointment to the board.”
Moss said he and Deputy Executive David Sheen have met with the mayor and city manager in reference to financial issues facing the city. Continued discussions are planned as well as working with the county legislature and city council to come up with solutions to improve the city’s financial standing.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Moss said in closing. “There will be some good days, and there will be some tough days. But as Mark Twain said, ‘The secret to getting ahead is getting started.'”
*Feature image courtesy of Rodney J. Strange ( my camera didn’t work so hot ).