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MacSherry appointed deputy supervisor in Cape Vincent

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CAPE VINCENT — Town Supervisor Urban C. Hirschey convened an organizational board meeting Wednesday to appoint Richard H. MacSherry as deputy supervisor.

Mr. MacSherry, former Planning Board chairman who is a Democrat, replaces Brooks J. Bragdon, who served as deputy supervisor for four years. Mr. Bragdon is also a town councilman.

“This is in no way a reflection upon the job that was done by the preceding deputy supervisor,” said Mr. Hirschey, who made the appointment after being re-elected this fall for his third term as supervisor. “I appointed Dick MacSherry for several reasons, and one is that he’s been the CEO of a hospital and has been a very qualified person for the town. We really felt that we should get an outsider in here and see how he shows himself, because I think he has capabilities for being a board member down the road.”

Mr. Hirschey, who for a time contemplated not seeking re-election, said the move was not made so Mr. MacSherry could replace him as interim supervisor, if Mr. Hirschey decided to resign his post. In that event, the deputy supervisor would be appointed to fill the supervisor position until the term expires.

“I had contemplated (stepping down) for a time, but I think that I’m going to follow through for the end of my term,” he said. “First, I enjoy it. And second, I’ve been at it for four years and don’t think it would be fair to run and not finish the job.” Mr. Hirschey considered not running for re-election because it appeared that BP Wind Energy, which planned the Cape Vincent Wind Farm project, was going to abandon its project application without attempting to sell it to another wind developer. He said he questioned whether his leadership was still needed by the board. But he later changed his mind, concluding he can “still play a major role.”

BP announced its intention to sell its 124-turbine project to another wind developer this past fall, but it hasn’t yet revealed an interested buyer. During a public hearing in December hosted by the state Public Service Commission, a judge presiding over the Article X siting process said BP’s application could be dismissed if it doesn’t announce a buyer this spring.”

Councilman John L. Byrne III said he believes Mr. Hirschey has no intention of resigning before his term expires.

“He has not had any conversations with myself about stepping down, and all indications that I have are that he plans on serving out the duration of his term,” Mr. Byrne said.

Paul F. Aubertine, a Democrat elected as a councilman this spring, did not respond to a call Thursday seeking comment.

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