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Letter to the Editor: Milone Argues for County Administrator

Written By Editor on 1/18/14 | 1/18/14

Dear Editor, Neighbors and Friends,
Once again I write pertaining to an issue which I whole heartedly feel would serve the best interest of the residents of Schoharie County. It is no secret at this point in time that at the January 3, 2014 organizational meeting I distributed a local law to each Supervisor calling for the creation of a County Administrator. The law gave definition to suggested educational requirements, scope of salary, functions, terms of office, etc. The law clearly gives definition to the Administrator being appointed by the Board of Supervisors, accountable and working in conjunction with the Board as Chief Administrative officer with the Board retaining final administrative authority. While this issue is not a new one, it would be difficult for anyone who is not familiar with the pitfalls of our County Government to pass judgment on its worth. I have for the last 2 years witnessed the floundering of County Government, the lack of policies and procedures, the lack of accountability, the need for an everyday "go to person" to achieve success in the workplace on an everyday basis. Please consider, for example, any business or corporation, medical facility, warehouse, transportation system, as well as local and second and third levels of government being without someone in charge on a daily basis.
While there are those who feel my recommendation has been presented at the wrong time, please bear in mind it is not the first time the issue has been raised. County history tells us that. Like many other important issues, it has been placed on the back burner waiting for action. I have once again put my best foot forward in an attempt to help government function the way it should. My recommendation that our Treasurer, Bill Cherry, be considered for this position was made on the basis of his capabilities and true understanding of what is needed. There are some real economic benefits to our taxpayers considering that a title of this nature hired from the outside would probably call for a salary of approximately $130,000.00 give or take. Plus, the expense of additional office space and staffing, pension costs and medical coverage could add up to something unaffordable. But by granting the administrator’s authority to someone who is already employed by the county, we could save thousands of dollars in salary and benefits, and may not have to delay or postpone this idea yet again because of the costs associated with creating a whole new position. I have worked side by side with Mr. Cherry on the county’s finance committee for two years and I have come to know his total commitment to this county and his professionalism. I stand by my recommendation even if some individuals feel I have muddied the waters by making that suggestion.
While it remains to be seen what the board does with the local law, my hope is that the issue now revived is recognized as necessary regardless of how the seat is filled.
The Fitzmaurice report clearly reflects the wrong doings and conspiracies that have taken place in our county government. The report contains numerous suggestions and courses of action which should be considered and very few of those recommendations have been addressed to date. I am extremely concerned that they too will fall by the wayside without proper leadership. I remain committed in attempting to rectify the wrongs and carving a way for government to function in the best interest of its workforce and its constituents.
Gene Milone, Supervisor
Town of Schoharie

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Unknown said...

Well said Gene, Its time this county tried something new because the good ole boy ways are not working anymore......Sam

Unknown said...

M. Milone is absolutely right that a County Administrator (more accurately, a County Executive) is needed and should be considered as a way to address the dysfunction and political hijinks that have plagued the Schoharie Board of Supervisors for years.

He is absolutely wrong, however, to suggest the person for the job is current Treasurer Bill Cherry. Mr. Cherry unfortunately personifies the old way of doing things and is perhaps one of the most aggressively political people in County government. A qualified, credentialed and independent professional, free of cronyism and enemies lists is needed not more of the same with a different title.

Kittie said...

Amen Upstateny1000!

Unknown said...

There are approximately 19 counties in NY State with County Executives. The Schoharie Board of Supervisors should exercise due diligence and contact those counties to discuss the successes and failures of having that structure of government. They should also consult the NY State Association of County Executives and finally, create a search committee that includes a diverse set of community members to help identify and vet potential candidates.

At a minimum, the candidates should have experience and credentials in public administration and finance and NOT be affiliated politically, or through business relationships, with any sitting or past members of the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors. Moving towards a County Executive/Administrator can either be an important step forward or just more of the same politically motivated and embarrassing nonsense that has been the hallmark of Schoharie County government.

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