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Opinion: Yes to Administrator

Written By Editor on 10/9/14 | 10/9/14

The recommendations are clear: the County government is a mess.

It's not necessarily a mess because of the individuals on the County Board of Supervisors, but rather due to the antiquated system that it runs under. While an overall overhaul may be a better option in the long haul, the chances of it coming into being through the current government system is unlikely.

The committee's report is chock full of relevant research and parallel experiences of similar counties. Chair Bill Frederice has put together a compelling argument that the current system is unsustainable.

After all, it is the current system, with a weak executive in the County Board Chair that allowed the Cassandra Ethington mess to unfold. Even further, there is great instability in such a system-- look at the four different Board Chairs over the last several years.

The Administrator position is non-partisan and independent. It would require some money for salary and at least one assistant, but realistically, it is far more efficient than the current arrangement. For those concerned about the amount of money that would be spent, the Board could propose the exact amount spent to be cut from next year's budget.

The Administrator would allow for the different Departments' efforts to be arranged, instead of allowing for an accumulation of power as Ethington engineered or a mismanaged fiefdom, like Alicia Terry's handling of the Planning Department. Allowing for these Departments to work on similar goals, such as economic growth or streamlining costs is something that has not been done to its fullest.

We always get emails and calls asking for an investigation into x or y department in County government. Wouldn't someone that is responsible for overseeing each one prevent waste and abuse? After all, the current Board Chairman's position is only part time with limited authority.

The Board can make some changes to the recommendations, but they appear to be solid. Tie the threads of County government together in competent hands and help heal the many issues confronting Schoharie County.
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