Yates approves new residency requirements
PENN YAN—In an effort to generate a larger pool of employee candidates, the Yates legislature adopted a local law establishing new residency requirements for three county positions. During the meeting on Monday, March 12, the legislature unanimously passed a resolution that would allow the individuals who end up filling the roles of assistant county attorney, social services attorney, and personnel officer to live outside of Yates. The legislation was originally introduced during last month’s legislature meeting.
According to Administrator Sarah Purdy, the new law would allow the people holding those jobs to live in neighboring counties which include Ontario, Steuben, Schuyler and Seneca. In terms of why Yates is having trouble generating interest in the positions from county residents, Purdy said she felt it had to do with the current economy. She explained during tough financial times, many individuals are afraid to find work in the public sector. “In this type of economy, the prospect of working in the public sector is not appealing,” stated Purdy.
Although he voted in favor of enacting the law, Legislator Rick Wilson expressed disgust about the county being unable to fill certain positions within Yates. “I understand why we have to do this,” Wilson said. “But it really grates my nerves that we have to go outside the community for employees when there are still people in the county looking for jobs.” He added this is a sign the legislature should start looking to create more jobs that would help unemployed Yates residents get back in the workforce.
Prior to voting on the legislation, a public hearing was held to give residents an opportunity to voice opinions on the law. However, no comments were made during that period.
In other business:
• A resolution was passed allowing County Planner Shawna Bonshak to issue proposal requests to developers interested in rebuilding the Penn Yan Marine property on Keuka Lake. The 14.7 acre site is currently owned by Yates County. The property was used from 1929 through 2001 for manufacturing wooden and fiberglass powerboats, sailboats, canoes and rowboats. Purdy noted the county is looking for a mix of residential and retail developments to be built at the site. She added Yates wants “no manufacturing ever again.” With regards to being able to seek proposals to redevelop the location, Legislature Chair H. Taylor Fitch said “this has been a long time coming.”
• The legislature approved a resolution requesting the state continue providing funds to Keuka Housing Council. Legislator Tim Dennis mentioned this resolution was formed after the organization’s Executive Director Kathy Disbrow announced Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to cut funding to rural and neighborhood preservation companies including Keuka Housing. Disbrow originally addressed this issue when the legislature held a special meeting with Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-C-I, Corning) and State Sen. Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) on Saturday, March 3 regarding the proposed 2012-13 state budget.
• A resolution was approved to appropriate $1,791,567 for four families in Yates for land preservation. Funds came from the state Department of Agriculture and Markets Farmland Protection Program. The farm owners applied for the funding through the department’s Purchase of Development Rights imitative. Through the program, owners sell development rights while still continuing to farm the land and retaining all other control over the area.
• A resolution was passed authorizing Fitch to sign an agreement with MUNIS for system-database administration operations at a cost of $4,507.09. The contract runs from March 21, 2012 through March 20, 2013.
• A resolution was passed allowing ProAction Yates Office for the Aging to sign a contract with Yates County Public Health for $163,452. The contract runs from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013.
• The legislature accepted a $50,000 bioterrorism grant from the state Department of Health.
• Appointments to the Yates County EMS Advisory Board were approved. Those appointed were Don Austin, Eric Williams, Wayne Marsh, Chester Martin, Kyle Heitman, Nancy Oppel, John Collins, Frank Ellis, Rachel Caitlin, Rick Gebo, Robert Green, Lawrence Collins, Sondra Warriner, Brian Winslow, Deb Minor, Sandy Smith, Chris Warriner, Deb McGaig, Steven Webster, Diane Warriner, Todd Nellis and Steve Ovens.
• Fitch was authorized to sign a contract for a $22,921 grant from the state Department of Health for the provision of a lead poisoning prevention program that will run till Sep. 30, 2012.
• Sheriff Ron Spike was authorized to purchase a van at a cost not to exceed $20,000 for the purpose of transporting inmates from jail to the county courthouse. Legislator Donna Alexander noted this purchase will be made to replace a 13-year-old van that failed inspection.
• Judy Wiltberger, Alan Snyder, and Ron Rubin were reappointed to the Yates County Planning Board. The terms of all three members run till March 12, 2015.
• William Dragon and Larry Christensen were appointed to the Ontario-Yates Flint Creek Small Watershed Protection District.
• Carol Kramer was appointed to fill the spot on the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board vacated by Nicolette Leathersitch. The term for Kramer will run through Jun. 30, 2013.
• Highway Superintendent David Hartman was authorized to hire two full-time temporary laborers for the summer at $10.82 per hour. The combined amount paid to both workers over the entire employment period cannot exceed $14,500.
• The legislature approved a resolution to create a full-time temporary senior account clerk typist position in the treasurer’s office due to an upcoming retirement.