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County fills deputy sheriff position   ADVERTISEMENT

County fills deputy sheriff position

YATES COUNTY—The Yates County Legislature approved filling a vacant deputy sheriff position during their regular meeting Monday, July 8. The position became vacant after a five-year member of the sheriff’s department transferred to Webster.
Legislator Mark Morris said they expect another retirement to come later in the year, opening up another position for review. He said the state Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) should have their staffing study completed by the time the other spot is vacated, which means the legislature will have a better idea of what employment levels are appropriate. Morris said while he agreed to fill the position, it is contingent upon what happens with the completion of the DCJS study and possible retirement. Chairman Taylor Fitch said although there is a possibility of the retirement coming soon, it is not yet a certainty.
Legislator Donna Alexander said the concern is always about citizen and deputy safety. She said the sheriff’s department is down in their numbers after the legislature previously decided not to fill a position. Alexander said the department also has an officer in training who is not yet ready to go on full patrol, which leaves the department with 10 deputies available. She said after filling this position and completion of training, the department will be back up to 12 people available for patrol.
Sheriff Ron Spike had advised the legislature to fill the spot because of a potential candidate nearing completion of academy training. He said pending a background investigation, this would allow the department to get an officer on patrol quicker than if the legislature waited until after the DCJS study became available.
In other business:
• Sarah Vestal was appointed a member of the Yates County planning board during the meeting. She will be representing the village of Penn Yan.
• Fitch said the legislature’s monthly committee meetings have been moved to the auditorium in the Yates County Office Building. He said this is for additional room for public attendance and participation. Fitch also said the government operations committee will meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, while the finance committee will meet at 6 p.m. on the same day.
• The legislature set a public hearing date for Monday, Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. to discuss a local law to override the 2 percent tax cap. During a previous meeting, the legislature had set a target goal for a 5 to 7 percent tax levy increase for the 2014 budget. County Administrator Sarah Purdy said while the tax cap calculation should allow for around a 5 percent increase, there are still factors which could potentially bring the tax cap number lower.