May 03, 2007 — Governor Spitzer's plan to shake-up his environmental leadership in the North Country sparked immediate opposition yesterday in the state Senate. Six Senators have signed letters asking the governor to reconsider his plans. One letter was co-signed by four senators, including North Country Republicans Joe Griffo and Jim Wright. They described the dismissal of top DEC official Sandy LeBarron as "unwarranted". LeBarron heads Region 6 for the DEC, based in Watertown. The Senators wrote, "Her institutional experience makes her uniquely qualified to continue in her position". A second letter - also signed by Griffo as well as Queensbury Republican Betty Little, and two others - opposed the appointment of Dick Booth to head the APA. Booth is a professor and attorney, who lives in Ithaca. By tradition, the APA chairman has always lived inside the blue line. The senators' letter says the tradition should continue, "We believe the chairman should be a person who lives in the Adirondacks, understands the economy, and is accessible to the people of the Adirondacks". Dick Booth has drawn strong support from environment groups in the North Country, but he'll need confirmation from the Republican-led Senate. Brian Mann spoke with Booth yesterday about his nomination and local concerns.