BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. - Heated controversy Tuesday night during a Saratoga County Supervisors meeting over the appointment of 22-year-old Christina Abele as the supervisor of the county's animal shelter, a job which pays more than $62,000 a year.
In the end, the final vote did not side with Abele, but not before two-and-a-half hours of public comment from residents and supervisors who were eager to speak.
"It's unbelievable," says Anthony D'Ambro. "All I have to say is I hope this board and the supervisors have the courage and oversight to look further for a qualified director."
"We can't start a new chapter this way," says Saratoga Springs Supervisor Joanne Yepsen. "It just isn't going to work. There are too many negatives out there."
"I had no doubt in my mind as a supervisor and as a person who is passionate with animals that I was making a good choice for the residents of Saratoga County," says Town of Clifton Park Anita Daly, who supported Abele.
Abele was appointed by a sub-committee to the position, but her appointment was subject to the approval of County Supervisors.
Abele, a recent Siena College business major graduate, was heavily criticized, many questioning if there was political influence involved in her appointment and others questioning her age and experience.
She defended herself to the supervisors, saying she feels she is qualified for the job and has the animal's best interests at heart.
"I have been so negatively judged. I have been told so many things over the past couple of weeks, including simply because I am a female, I cannot maintain the building as Dan did. I respect the process, but I think I was very unfairly judged and slandered throughout this. I know I'd be a voice for the animals, I know I have what it takes," she stated.
The position pays a starting salary of $62,413 per year "plus excellent benefits." The Shelter Supervisor is responsible for a near million-dollar budget, a staff of 13 employees, and more than 300 volunteers.
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