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St. Lawrence County Legislator Mark Akins opts not to seek re-election

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LISBON — St. Lawrence County Legislator Mark H. Akins, R-Lisbon, is stepping down after his single term at the end of the year out of frustration.

“I don’t think in that arena I can accomplish what I thought I could,” he said. “I think I’m better off stepping away.”

Republican David W. Forsythe, who held the District 2 seat before Mr. Akins, will run for the position.

Mr. Akins said he learned a lot during his time on the board and enjoyed all of the people he met, but often felt as if he was banging his head against the wall.

“There’s lot of things that frustrate me,” he said.

During board discussions, Mr. Akins often asks his fellow legislators to pay more attention to long-term policy rather than focusing on short-term solutions to emerging situations, but they typically continue the conversation as if he had not spoken, he said.

“There’s never a time when they’re not crashing and burning,” he said.

Even accomplishments made tend to be short-term solutions, he said, such as the deal the county worked out with private trash haulers to keep the county’s transfer stations in business. Once the agreement was brokered, the county stopped looking at future needs, such as what will happen when more organic materials have to be diverted from landfills.

“I think what we did is a good step,” Mr. Akins said. “It’s not anywhere where we need to be.”

All county legislative positions are up for election in the fall, and the 9-6 Democratic majority could change, but Mr. Akins said he was not sure a Republican majority would significantly alter the way county government runs.

“I just don’t feel there’s a lot of support out there for real change,” he said.

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