$75,000 Put In 2020 Budget, But
It’s Unclear If The ‘Ayes’ Will Win
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – A vote on creating a county administrator position may come as soon as December, county Rep. Meg Kennedy, R-C/Mount Vision, told the county Board of Representatives meeting this morning.
“This is momentous,” reacted county Rep. Gary Koutnik, D-Oneonta, the board’s vice chairman. “We have a timeline!” Retiring at year’s end, he said hiring a county administrator would be the most important decision of his decade on the county board.
Kennedy told her colleagues $75,000 has been placed in to prospective 2020 county budget for this purpose, with the idea that, if the position is approved, it would take until mid-year for the recruitment and hiring process to be completed.
The $75,000 would handle the second half of the year, with $50,000 going to salary and $25,000 to benefits, with that doubling for the full year of 2021.
County Rep. Kathy Clark, R-Otego, suggested that, because of the decision’s significance, the whole county board should be involved in the final deliberations. She suggested discussions of the top job should be scheduled after the monthly county board meeting, so all members can be involved.
Kennedy, who is leading the county-administrator deliberations as chairman of the county board’s Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, suggested that following the lengthy monthly meetings might not be the optimum time to take on such a discussion. “Maybe before,” she said.
She also shared being tipped off by a former county rep that vote on a county administrator was taken in 1993, and Clerk of the Board Carol McGovern helped her research what happened.
The vote was 7-7, and the ayes and nays were bi-partisan. The measure was defeated by weighted voting.
Stephen J. Acquario, executive director of NYSAC (the state association of counties) who has been consulting with the committee as it worked its way through the process of developing the job and defining responsibilities, will be back at the 10 a.m., Oct. 29, IGA meeting.
However, Kennedy said, the topic will be economic development, and what a county might do when, administratively, it is better poised for action. Acquario will be bringing economic-development proponents from Saratoga County, which is often held up as the poster-child of Upstate ec-dev success.