By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor
In his first year as Warren County Administrator, Ryan Moore, 37, has a Republican background, but the graduate of Williams College and Saratoga Springs High School is winning bipartisan praise.
Doug Beaty, the maverick Republican Queensbury at-large supervisor, said he was “a little hesitant voting for Mr. Moore because I wanted an independent county administrator. I don’t want a party loyalist.
“But he gives us the facts and lets us make the decisions. I couldn’t be happier.”
Glens Falls Ward 3 Democrat Claudia Braymer says he “tries to do a fair job given the political environment. I’ve come to appreciate the amount of work he does.”
Republican Ron Conover, the Bolton supervisor who chairs the Board of Supervisors, said, “Ryan has really hit the ground running. He has a great relationship with the department heads, and his background and experience elsewhere gives him a firm foundation. He has excellent knowledge of the workings of Albany, both legislatively and politically. He came with terrific credentials, and they are showing.”
Warrensburg supervisor Kevin Geraghty, who before Mr. Moore was hired was acting county administrator for two years, said, Mr. Moore “knows a lot about the position and county government. He eats and sleeps county government. He’s a tireless worker and on top of every aspect of government.”
The county administrator advises the Board of Supervisors, and also oversees the county’s 32 departments and 800 employees.
Sales tax presentation raised profile
Mr. Moore has been in his job since last April, but his debut for the public was on Jan. 16th of this year. That’s when he gave an hour-long PowerPoint presentation to the Board and a standing-room only crowd of residents, explaining the County’s distribution of sales tax, which some believe isn’t fair and needs to be changed.
Mr. Geraghty said Mr. Moore’s presentation showed “how in depth he gets. Nothing caught him off guard. It was very detailed.”
Ms. Braymer called the presentation “very good, but I thought it was slanted toward the status quo. But he’s got a tough job. He said he would listen to everybody, and his door would always open to every supervisor, and he has met that promise. He always takes my call.
“He has to deal with the realities of the position, and a board with a party majority, but he’s very much focused on protecting the county and its employees and how we are perceived.”
Ms. Braymer’s fellow Glens Falls Democrat Peter McDevitt says, “I really like Ryan. He gets back to people quickly, and I find that refreshing. His demeanor is welcoming, and he handles the personalities really well…I don’t think he can do a whole lot better.”
Worked for Weld & Pataki
The Chronicle reached out to Mr. Moore after his sales tax presentation, wanting to profile him. He was reluctant but finally agreed to an interview.
A 1999 Saratoga Springs High School graduate, Mr. Moore, went on to graduate from Williams College in 2003, with a degree in history and political science.
“Then I went into politics,” he told The Chronicle. “I always wanted to be in government, and I thought the way to do that was to get involved in campaigns.”
He worked for three years as research director and special assistant to the New York State Republican Committee before helping former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld in his short-lived run for governor of New York.
Mr. Moore then worked for Governor George Pataki’s Political Action Committee when Mr. Pataki explored running for president, and then worked on Sandy Treadwell’s congressional campaign.
He then helped start Capitol Public Strategies, a public affairs consulting firm, where he “got to see the nexus between government and business in Albany.”
He said he and his partners later sold the business to former U.S. Senator Al D’Amato, who changed the name to Park Strategies.
4 years at Saratoga County
Two years later, Mr. Moore became deputy county administrator in Saratoga County, a position he held for four years.
He met his wife Katy at Saratoga Race Course. She worked in Westchester County government, and he was hired as a senior budget analyst and then assistant budget director before coming to Warren County.
“I missed the responsibility,” he said, explaining the move. “Here, I’m at the center of a group of professionals, and facilitating their contact with our elected officials. It was too good to be true.”
Plus, he said he has spent many summers at his family’s camp in Bolton, and is friends with Brendan and John Murnane, who own and operate the Bolton Landing Brewing Company.
Mr. Moore said of starting his new job here, “it’s always tricky at first figuring out who’s who and getting people to trust me.”
Despite his background in Republican politics, he said “there is no Republican or Democratic way to run local government. There’s a right way and a wrong way.
“One on one, I find the supervisors here to be very intelligent and open-minded. They want to do the right thing, and it’s my job to get the best information I can into their hands. I have found this board to be very easy to work with in that regard.”
Navigating the political waters
With 11 Republicans, eight Democrats and an independent on the board, Mr. Moore said, “They don’t always break Republican and Democrat…I’ve worked with strong chairmen in the past. Ron [Conover] is very deliberative and wants to keep people on the same page. He’s very analytical but has never tried to shove anything down my throat.”
Mr. Moore acknowledged “in the past, supervisors felt excluded. All 20 of them were elected and they represent their constituents. They are all entitled to the same degree of respect. To exclude them based on politics is not right. I respect all 20 or them.”
Of his January sales tax distribution presentation, Mr. Moore emphasizes that it “wasn’t all me. I talked to all of the supervisors, and to Travis Whitehead and Jim Brock, and I tried to fairly represent all arguments in the presentation.
“It was a collaborative process. I wanted to make sure we were all on the same page. I was very happy people paid attention.
“I understand the political realities with my background. I’m lucky to have diverse experiences that have helped me in this role…No one has all the answers, but collectively we can analyze and make good decisions.”
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