The Commission is overseen by a board of nine unpaid volunteers, all residents of the Tug Hill Region. They are appointed three each by the Governor, Speaker of the State Assembly, and majority leader of the State Senate. The nine Commissioners are chosen by appointing authorities so that two come from each of the four counties that overlap the region, with a ninth member serving “at large.” The Commission is authorized by New York State legislation first passed in 1972 (Chapter 972, Laws of 1972), and most recently amended in 1998 as Article 37, Section 847 of the New York State Executive Law (Chapter 440, Laws of 1998). Article 37 provides for an every five year report to the governor and state legislature on the quality of and need for (or not) continuation of the Tug Hill Commission and its programs, based on a survey of some 400 local officials and community leaders from the Tug Hill region.

Terms of Commission members are five years, coinciding with the every five year evaluation of its programs. Suggestions for Commission member appointments can be made to appointing authorities.


Chairman Jan Bogdanowicz – Montague, Lewis County

Vice Chairman Michael G. Yerdon, Sr. – Redfield, Oswego County

Secretary Thomas E. Boxberger – Watertown, Jefferson County

Leona M. Chereshnoski – Lorraine, Jefferson County

Roger W. Maciejko – Turin, Lewis County

Arnold E. Talgo – Holland Patent, Oneida County

Kenneth W. Vigus – Boonville, Oneida County


John K. Bartow, Jr.

Nine Commission staff work out of the central office in Watertown. Seven part-time and full-time “circuit riders” work out of their homes throughout the region, under the direction of local councils of governments.