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County Board Adopts 2014 Budget in Mixed Vote, Approves Other Action in Special Session

Written By Editor on 12/11/13 | 12/11/13

 
The Schoharie County Board of Supervisors, meeting in a special session, adopted the proposed 2014 county budget in a split vote yesterday evening, with what remained of the Conservative faction (Supervisors Mann, Murray, Singletary and Vroman) siding against the largely non-controversial fiscal plan, while the remaining ten Supervisors voted in support of the multi-million dollar package.
 
In what constituted the only public debate before the budget's passage, outgoing Supervisors Robert Mann of Blenheim and Dan Singletary of Jefferson questioned the reversion of a currently grade 18 Highway Department employee to his previous grade 13 position, of which there is already an occupant, with Public Works Commissioner Dan Crandall warning that it will be a "struggle to get it [work] done" with this change in departmental personnel duties.
 
Supervisor Mann in particular accused the County Board of engaging in similar activities that they decried in the infamous Fitzmaurice Report, which he acknowledged paints an unfavorable opinion of his handling of a layoff "hit list" in November 2011, and sparred briefly with Schoharie Town Supervisor Gene Milone who explained the board's decision as the "elimination of a title that shouldn't be there."
 
In other action the County Board approved Resolution 98 (establishing county equalization rates), Resolution 99 (equalizing assessments), Resolution 100 (levying unpaid water charges in Esperance, Schoharie, Jefferson, Conesville and Richmondville), Resolution 101 (levy on town taxes), Resolution 102 (levying unpaid sewer charges in Seward, Esperance and Schoharie),  Resolution 103 (levying returned school taxes), Resolution 104 (levying returned village taxes) and Resolution 105 (levying highway improvement district charges for Avenue of the Stars in the Town of Blenheim) by wide margins.
 
Two resolutions concerning separate Schoharie County stream restoration and emergency watershed protection projects (Little Schoharie and Platterkill) were also adopted, which awarded both contracts to Rifenburg Construction at a combined cost of $11.7 million, as were two motions of new business: one by Supervisor Mann requesting Schoharie County Treasurer Bill Cherry and Ron Simmons of Simmons Recovery Consulting to meet with members of his town over the status of rebuilding the Blenheim Bridge and the other which authorized the county to begin advertising the soon-to-be-vacant position of Public Health Director.
 
Fourteen of sixteen Town Supervisors were present for the second to last meeting of the raucous 2013 legislative session, with the Town of Wright's chair remaining vacant and Broome Supervisor Anne Batz absent. The regularly scheduled December Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on next Friday, December 20th at 9 am.
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