Yates submits draft shared service plan
YATES COUNTY--County Administrator Bob Lawton has submitted the county's draft plan from the shared service meetings and stakeholder collaboration since May for efficiency and/or improvements with county provided services.
Members of the county legislature, the Yates' shared service panel and state officials received a copy before the deadline.
For the county, the shared service panel members included:
Leslie Church, Milo; Margaret Dunn, Italy; Wayne Dunton, Middlesex; Patrick Flynn, Torrey; Patrick Killen, Jerusalem; George Lawson, Starkey; Len Lisenbee, Potter; John E. Prendergast, Benton; Fred Wright, Barrington.
Fred Cratsley, Dundee; William Hall, Dresden; Leigh MacKerchar, Penn Yan; John Sawers, Rushville.
Superintendents of Schools:
Howard Dennis, Penn Yan Central School District
Kelly Houck, Dundee Central School District.
During three public meetings, the panel discussed with residents a number of options. The panel determined to proceed with consideration of two major initiatives: consolidation of justice courts and developing or joining a health insurance consortium.
Lawton said with respect to the consolidation of justice courts, the workgroup advised that in two of the nine town courts, revenues exceeded expenses. For the remaining seven town courts, expenses exceeded revenues by a total of approximately $58,000 on total court costs of approximately $200,000 in those seven towns.
The workgroup also discussed county costs, primarily the appearance costs of prosecution and defense attorneys as well as sheriff's department costs for prisoner transport. Given current staffing for the district attorney's office and the county's indigent defense offices, reduction in personnel costs appeared unlikely to result from court consolidation. Projected savings in mileage and transport costs were not fully available.
Factors noted as barriers to the establishment of a countywide district justice court included the need for such a district to be composed of contiguous towns, as well as the division of two of the county's villages among multiple towns, each of which may or may not choose to participate in a district court. The panel also discussed the role of state legislation in easing barriers to establishment of a district court.
With respect to developing or joining a health insurance consortium, the workgroup advised that the county's status as an experience-rated insured would preclude the county from taking advantage of the community-rating status enjoyed by towns and villages. The workgroup was awaiting further information about the possibility of towns and villages acting together with a single broker to combine their purchasing power, if not their risk rating.
Lawton said, "Between now and Sept. 15, the county legislature will review and comment on the draft plan, three more public hearings will be held and the panel will meet to adopt a final version prior to its Sept. 15 transmission to the state."