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THE ISSUE: Laurens Lacked Road Salt

Department Heads Must Learn

To Use New System, Clark Says

Onondaga County's purchasing director, Andrew Trombley, center, is flanked by county reps, from left, Meg Kennedy, Dan Wilber, Keith McCarty and Kathy Clark at this morning's "committee of the whole" meeting. (Jim Kevlin/
Onondaga County’s purchasing director, Andrew Trombley, center, is flanked by county Reps, from left, Meg Kennedy, Dan Wilber, Keith McCarty and Kathy Clark at this morning’s “committee of the whole” meeting.  In the foreground are county Reps. David Bliss, left, and Len Carson. (Jim Kevlin/

county-logoCOOPERSTOWN – When the County of Otsego was preparing to centralize its purchasing through Onondaga County’s system, county Board Chair Kathy Clark scheduled a briefing for department heads.

Only three showed up.

At the end of a “committee of the whole” meeting this morning of county representatives, Clark said she will scheduled another briefing before the end of the year, and all 26 department heads will be required to attend.  “It’s not optional,” she said.

“It’s just a matter of working together,” said Andrew Trombley, Onondaga County purchasing director, who drove down from Syracuse this morning for the meeting.  He provided a spread sheet showing that all purchase orders received this month had been handled with dispatch, some within minutes.

The county board approved the arrangement with Onondaga County in October, but when the snowstorm hit Thanksgiving Weekend, at least one town highway department – Laurens’ – and perhaps Maryland’s as well, lacked sufficient road salt to fight it.

However, county representatives appeared to leave this morning’s meeting still in favor of seeing how things go.  Still, there may be adjustments.

For instance, county Rep. Keith McCarty,R-East Springfield, wondered whether there was any reason to go through Syracuse on road salt, which has been purchased for years through the state contract with Cargill, with the bulk purchase ensuring a competitive price.


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