A Skaneateles school board member and former television journalist has been selected to fill a vacant seat on the Onondaga County Legislature.
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced Friday that he has appointed Julie Abbott-Kenan to represent the 6th district, which includes all of Marcellus, Otisco, Skaneateles, Spafford and a portion of Camillus.
Abbott-Kenan succeeds Michael Plochocki, who was elected to four terms as a county legislator. Plochocki was appointed by McMahon to serve as a deputy county attorney with a focus on environmental law.
Abbott-Kenan is the vice president of the Skaneateles school board. During her journalism career, she worked as an anchor, investigative reporter, producer and talk show host for NewsChannel 9 in Syracuse.
Her volunteer experience includes serving on the Onondaga County School Safety Task Force, the Vera House board and the Syracuse City School District reading program.
"I believe we have a responsibility to make decisions based on what is best for the next generation," Abbott-Kenan said. "Onondaga County is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family and I look forward to working with my new colleagues in the county Legislature to make it even better."
Abbott-Kenan will serve the final year of Plochocki's term, which expires at the end of 2019. She could run for a full two-year term in next year's election.
In a statement, McMahon said Abbott-Kenan brings "a fresh and dynamic approach" to county government. He added that they will partner on issues he's made top priorities: economic development, infrastructure and poverty.
"She knows firsthand the importance a solid education plays in helping people out of generational poverty and will be a great partner in this effort," he continued. "Julie also understands that need to invest in our infrastructure and protect our natural resources, especially Skaneateles Lake, to ensure we not only have safe drinking water, but responsibly leverage our vast abundance of clean water for real economic opportunity."
This is the second legislative appointment by McMahon since becoming county executive in November. He named Miles Bottrill to fill his vacant seat on the Onondaga County Legislature.