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Castorland woman appointed as Lewis County trail coordinator

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LOWVILLE — A Castorland woman has been named Lewis County’s new recreational trail coordinator.

Lawmakers on Tuesday voted 8-0 to appoint Jacqueline L. Mahoney to the position, at an annual salary of $47,000. She is slated to begin May 28.

“Finally, after two go-rounds, we have selected one,” reported Legislator Charles R. Fanning, R-Copenhagen, a member of the legislative Economic Development Committee.

Committee Chairman Richard C. Lucas, R-Barnes Corners, who was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting, said by phone that Mrs. Mahoney — who works for McClelland Agronomic Services, Lowville, and operates a horse farm on Ridge Road — was his committee’s consensus choice.

“She blew us away,” Mr. Lucas said. “She is the person that, I think, can handle all the dodgeballs that will be thrown her way.”

The new trail coordinator is expected to be quickly inundated by all-terrain vehicle and snowmobile club members, landowners, legislators and other interested parties, he said.

However, with a strong knowledge of the county’s overall recreational plans, a degree in forestry, extensive experience in timber management and good personal skills, Mrs. Mahoney should be up to the challenge, Mr. Lucas said.

The position drew 35 applicants. It has been vacant since mid-November, when former coordinator Robert C. Diehl was suspended over allegations he billed the county for gravel delivered for personal use.

Twelve were deemed qualified by the Civil Service Commission after the first round of applicants were received, but lawmakers decided to readvertise and lessen the qualifications — effectively shaving two years off the experience requirements — to offer a larger pool of candidates.

Mrs. Mahoney was one of three people interviewed by the committee recently, although several others were interviewed following the initial solicitation, Mr. Lucas said.

Legislature Chairman Michael A. Tabolt, R-Croghan, who has been serving as de-facto trail coordinator over the past month or so, said part of the recent hold-up in naming the new coordinator came from the highly qualified pool of candidates.

Johnson Newspapers writer Christina Scanlon contributed to this report.

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