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Opinion: County Board has Little to Show for First Hundred Days

Written By Editor on 4/11/14 | 4/11/14


Earlier this week the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors capped their one hundredth day of the 2014 legislative session. For many Presidents and state Governors this is the first time you can really pause and examine their progress in office, and we feel the same is necessary of our local unicameral legislative body. 

Promise

When the current slate of Supervisors were elected last November, there was a sense that things were going to change in county government and the good 'ole boy network would be washed away, or at the very least, handicapped in their ability to effect public policy. How wrong everyone was... 

One hundred plus days later, our county sits in disarray. We have no full-time personnel officer; no public health director; no IT director, and thus far no sensible reforms to hedge against the possibility of another Fitzmaurice or AECOM debacle. In short, the county appears to be operating under no stated mission or agenda, apparently satisfied with simply drifting aimlessly from one board meeting to the next with no idea of what their purpose is. 

Politics

Unfortunately, another side effect of last November's election was the reintroduction of party government in Schoharie after operating in 2013 under a bi-partisan coalition manner. Where both sides were publicly in agreement in December, they suddenly reversed in January and fractured along those dreaded Democrat and Republican lines. 

This isn't true of the entire board, as there are a collection of mavericks who work outside the party-line framework to achieve common goals, but as in the case of the casino - one can see how those lines are still in effect and embarrassingly so. 

Success?

The question mark is there because we simply don't know if the county board's successes will be ultimately successful at this point. Take for example tax abatements: in theory they create incentives for first-time home buyers to come into Schoharie County and take a chance on us, however, we have no idea how they will perform in action. 

And honestly, besides the tax abatement legislation and the casino resolution, Supervisors have accomplished little to nothing outside the inertia of county government, which is to be expected when there is no leading motivation or goal-point to strive for. 

Conclusion

It doesn't need to be restated: our county is one in disarray, and the only people who can change that are the sixteen men and women who sit around the U-shaped table on the third floor of the county building, which if the first one hundred days have any foreshadowing on future events, they are unlikely to alter their ways the next hundred.
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