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Fitch, Wright will take new positions

YATES COUNTY—With the start of a new year, a number of people will be stepping into new leadership roles in area politics.
Taylor Fitch is the new Yates County legislative chairman. Barrington residents elected board member Fred Wright to the supervisor position. In Italy, Brad Jones is now the new supervisor.
Fitch was unanimously elected chairman of the Yates County Legislature during the legislature’s organizational meeting, Jan. 4. Fitch was nominated by former chairman Robert Multer who said, “Taylor has served this community for many years, with community organizations, town board and for eight years, on the legislature. It is with great pleasure and confidence that I nominate him.”
Dan Banach seconded the nomination, commenting, “He has been my friend of over 55 years.” Multer was elected as vice chairman. New legislator Mark Morris was nominated for vice chairman by Patrick Galvin, but there was no second to the nomination.
Fitch commented he feels the current legislature is balanced with some legislators having served for 10 years or more, some new and some in their second terms. Fitch commended department heads for being loyal, helpful and hard working, adding, “We are here to provide services to the residents of Yates County. They are our employers.”
Shifting to the challenges ahead, Fitch said the federal government is spending too much, then acknowledged New York State’s fiscal problems he said, “When community services are most needed the money is not there. We can’t do it all and will have to set priorities.” Fitch said he feels the best way out of the current economic situation is creation of private sector jobs, calling job creation the cornerstone of his efforts with the cooperation of Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, municipalities and others.
Fitch has represented District I on the Yates County Legislature for eight years, representing the towns of Italy, Middlesex and Jerusalem. He has served as chairman of the county finance committee and is on the Human Services committee. Fitch also served nine years on the Jerusalem town board and is currently involved with the capital project at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital. Several years ago he retired from the auto parts business he owned for 26 years.
During the meeting, Bernetta Bourcy was reappointed county attorney, Ed Brockman, public defender and Sarah Purdy, budget officer. Official newspaper designations were made and Larry Lewis was appointed to a three year term on the Yates County Soil and Water Conservation District board.
There was a discussion of a proposal made by legislator Tim Dennis to change the time of day that the legislature meets to 6 p.m. for a six month trial period. As discussion progressed, determination of necessary procedures for this type of change resulted in withdrawal of the motion. The legislature did vote to meet Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m., a change made to allow attendance at the annual New York State Association of Counties meeting.
As of the first Barrington town board meeting this year, Tuesday, Jan. 5, Wright is once again town supervisor.
This is also his second stint on town board. Wright came back two years ago to serve on the town board after a 25 year hiatus from Barrington politics. He explained he started in the early 80s and after one term as a town councilman, did a term as supervisor. Wright said he ended up leaving the board because he was putting in his own money and his salary into paying a bookkeeper.
“I couldn’t get the board to pay for a bookkeeper,” he said.
However, even after 20 years, he ended up going to more and more meetings. Wright said he wanted to know where the money was going after a large increase in rates. He explained that board member John Travis decided not to run and the Barrington Republican Committee asked him to run again. So in 2008, Wright was a board member once again.
Wright said there were a number of differences between his first and second times as board member. He explained that when he first started, the town only had three checking accounts: general, highway and Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs). He added there is a lot more paperwork and itemizations in budgets. However, he said the services are the same, like plowing the roads. Though, he said that is done a lot faster nowadays.
He added already that the supervisor also deals with a lot more paperwork. Wright said that Eileen Farnan was good at keeping track of the different accounts and where the money was going in her tenure as supervisor.
Wright has also been in the insurance business for many years. He said that in 1971 he worked for a couple of dairy companies. Covering up to five counties, he visited dairy farms to inspect sanitation. After six years, though, he moved on to work for Corning Glass. He explained that lasted three years before a lot of people were fired.
After another jaunt working at dairies, Wright eventually worked for Agway Insurance in 1979. He said after three years, Agway released all agents and they became independent. In 1983 he bought the house at 322 Liberty St. in Penn Yan and turned it into the office for F.G. Wright Insurance. His office is still there now.


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