Committee Assignments: Audit & Finance and Conservation & Improvement
Prior Committee Assignments: Conservation & Improvement (Chair)
Charles S. Dawson, Jr. has been an Albany County Legislator since 2000, representing residents of the 35th Legislative District.
Charlie was first elected in 1999, defeating a sixteen year incumbent. He was only the second Democrat elected to the county legislature from Bethlehem and the first to be re-elected.
Charlie has been a member of the Audit and Finance Committee since he began his legislative service. His legislative work has concentrated on economic development, especially high tech development. In his very first year in office, Charlie advocated using the County's multi-million dollar share of the Medicaid tobacco settlement monies for economic development seed money. His advocacy efforts and leadership led to the creation of the Vista Technology Campus in Bethlehem. As a result, good jobs will come to the town and the county and the Bethlehem Central School District stands to benefit by $51 million in tax dollars over 20 years and the town by some $2.5 million.
Charlie was the prime sponsor of the 11 mile county rail trail legislation and author of the measure creating the Bethlehem Landslide Nature Preserve on the Normans Kill. He also has led legislative efforts to promote volunteer firefighter/EMS recruitment and retention, library aid, and against unfunded State mandates imposed on county taxpayers, particularly the costly Medicaid mandate.
An expert in government budgetary and organizational matters, Charlie holds a doctorate in public administration from the Rockefeller College, State University of New York at Albany. He worked as the Special Advisor to the NYS Senate Finance Committee Chair, and before that for the New York State School Boards Association serving as an advocate for public education and property taxpayers. He has also worked for the University at Albany as a research professor and graduate students teacher and advisor. He also worked three years and traveled extensively in his role as an international consultant specializing in assisting legislatures in emerging democracies. Charlie is the co-author of a book published by the National Science Foundation called The Politics of Legislation in New York State. He is a long-time state legislative staffer having served in both houses.
Active in his community, Charlie served five years as a volunteer firefighter with the Elsmere Fire Company, as a member of the Bethlehem soccer club board, and as a member of the Albany County Soil and Water Conservation District. He is an avid skier, serving as a long-time volunteer with the mountain safety ski patrol at Mount Snow. The rest of the year you'll find him golfing or landscaping when he has the time.