Legislature continues debate over administrator
YATES COUNTY--A resolution to begin drafting a job description passed the Yates County Legislature Monday, March 14 after some opposition. The effort to charge the Yates County Administrator Task Force with the drafting of a proposed job description for the position was decided by a nine to five vote. This comes a week after the task force made a recommendation to the government operations committee to replace the full-time administrator, with the possibility of additional responsibilities.
Legislators Mark Morris, Gary Montgomery, James Smith, Terry Button and Elden Morrison voted against the measure. Montgomery said he does not get the sense that anything is not currently getting done in the absence of an administrator. He said he has not heard any complaints by the department heads, adding it could be a possibility for the county to step up and assume the role and responsibilities of the administrator.
Legislative Chairman Tim Dennis responded that the county is working to implement their policies in a uniform manner across all departments. He added he does not see how that could continue month after month without a central figure. Montgomery said he agrees, but he does not think they need a full-time position to accomplish that task.
Morris said while the task force did a good job with their recommendation, he does not feel there was enough emphasis on the cost of each available option. He suggested the county split the role between the legislative and committee chairs.
Smith said he was not on board with the resolution, adding he would like to step back and see what is not currently being done. He said he would like to see if looking at if the delegation of tasks or reassignment of current roles could cover those areas. Button added he felt like the current wording is locking the legislature in to going with the full-time replacement option.
Legislator Bonnie Percy said the job that is not currently being accomplished without an administrator is the evaluation of each department head. Legislator Doug Paddock said having a draft of the job description will help the legislature in consolidating a description the legislature approves. Legislator Earle Gleason also said the resolution is for a proposed job description and a draft that can be reworked later before the final draft is approved by the legislature.
Morrison said he agrees with the task force recommendation, but noted the administrator would need to take on additional duties in order to fill a full-time role. Percy suggested letting the task force draft the job description, adding, "then when it comes back to us, we can tear it apart."
"When we do have a decision, we cannot continue to undermine that position," Dennis said, adding they will need the support of the entire legislature.
In other business:
• The legislature approved a resolution allowing the village of Penn Yan access to the former Penn Yan Marine property for the ingress and egress of construction equipment necessary for the installation of a waterfront sewer system.
• Two vacancies were filled in the sheriff's department during the meeting. One corrections officer and one emergency services dispatcher were authorized to be filled by the sheriff.
• Charles Mitchell, Paul Danielson, David Granzin, Judy Wiltberger, Ronald Rubin, Sarah Vestal and Alan Snyder were all reappointed by the legislature to the Yates County planning board.