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VanWormer: Empower Board Chairman to Meet Administrative Needs

Written By Editor on 3/3/14 | 3/3/14


With the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors largely undecided on Schoharie Town Supervisor Gene Milone's county administrator proposal, one member believes the ongoing public debate could be resolved within the framework we currently have now, rather than adding an executive layer to local bureaucracy.

Arguing that the implementation of an appointed county administrator would further widen the gap between residents and their government, Esperance Town Supervisor Earl VanWormer has suggested a simpler fix to the county's lack of executive oversight: empowering the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors to assume many of the proposed administrator's responsibilities.

Mr. VanWormer's proposed change would elevate the Board Chairman, a position he held for much of the last decade, to the equivalent of an Prime Minister in a parliamentary system. In addition to representing their town's constituents on the board, they would oversee the daily operations of county government and work with the department heads to ensure all gears turn properly. 

Citing figures that range from $250,000-$300,000 to cover the costs of an county administrator and all the position entails - personal staff, work space, office supplies, etc. - the Esperance lawmaker believes only a modest salary increase would be necessary to adequately compliment a full-time board chairman's additional workload. 

Coming just days after the Board of Supervisors welcomed the Greene County Administrator to brief them on his county's own governmental transition, it remains to be seen whether Mr. VanWormer's proposal takes a foothold in the continuing conversation, or like other proposed changes to county government, is assigned to the wastebasket of history. 
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