November 15, 2007 - 7:30 am
Members: Larry Cornell, Chairman; Mike, McKee, Vice Chairman; Sandy Price, Don Spaulding, John Troy and Tom Williams
Others Present: Marilyn Brown, Chairman, County Legislature; Scott Schrader, County Administrator; Carol Tytler, Legislator; Merwin Armstrong; Katrina Spicer, Secretary to County Administration; Richard C. Van Donsel, County Attorney; Sue Morgan, Clerk of the Legislature; Laurie Gosse, Deputy Personnel Officer; Bob Howe, Elections Office; Bill Wood, Elections Office; Elizabeth Larkin, County Clerk; Skip Chapman, Cortland Standard; and Eric Mulvihill, WXHC
Absent: Steve Dafoe
Mr. Cornell called the meeting to order at 7:30 am.
Mr. Troy made the motion to
approve the minutes of the October 11, 2007 meeting; seconded by Ms. Price.
All members voting in favor; none opposed; minutes approved as
SUGGESTED LEGISLATIVE REVIEW:
** The following items have been noted as items for suggested Legislative Review by the Chairman of the Personnel Committee. These items are also noted with ** and in bold print.
Local Law Number 2 for the year 2007 A Local Law Setting the Salary of
Election Commissioners For Cortland County in Compliance with Election Law
1. Approve Cooperative Grant Submission Cortland County/ City of Cortland Mobile Shelving Unit at Records Center – Mr. Troy moved adoption; seconded by Ms. Price. Mr. Williams inquired about the correct price. Ms. Larkin explained that the cost would be $104,000. Ms. Price inquired about the plans when the County reaches storage capacity. Chairman Brown inquired about any plans to image documents. Ms. Larkin explained that currently they are at 85% capacity and added that this shelving system would double the capacity of storage. She went on to add that she also looked into a manual shelving system, which cost $98,000. She stated that the electronic shelving that she is proposing in this resolution is easier to use and has added safety precautions. Mr. Williams inquired about the length of time this storage system would last until more space would be needed. Ms. Larkin expressed, approximately ten years. Ms. Tytler inquired if the physical space to install these shelves was available. Ms. Larkin stated that there was. Ms. Price inquired about the time frame involved for installation. Ms. Larkin expressed that it would take about six months. Chairman Brown inquired if the installation was included or not. Ms. Larkin expressed that it was included. All members present voting in favor; none opposed; resolution adopted.
2. Adopt Local Law Number 2 for the year 2007 A Local Law Setting the Salary of Election Commissioners For Cortland County in Compliance with Election Law 3-208 and Prohibiting Election Commissioners from holding any Officer Position within a Political Party – Mr. Spaulding moved adoption; seconded by Mr. Troy. Chairman Brown explained that she had spoken with three Legislators in regarding the second portion of this Local Law. Chairman Brown discussed striking the terms of commissioners and the words Republican and Democrat. Mr. Williams addressed his concerns regarding this and stated that these are two separate issues and should be dealt with separately. Committee members discussed separating the two issues. Committee members went on to discuss limiting political parties to their choice of a Party Chair. Mr. Williams discussed changes that need to be made on the resolution and inquired who drafted the resolution. Chairman Brown stated that at the last Legislative Session the Legislature requested Mr. Schrader drafted a resolution. Ms. Price inquired if the County can legally set the salaries and asked if the County has a right to prohibit the Elections commissioner serving as Party Chair. Mr. Schrader stated that yes the County can. He also stated that Mr. Gates has suggested that prohibiting the Elections Commissioners from holding a Officer position in the political party not be handled in this document but instead be set in the Code of Ethics. Mr. Williams requested to hear Mr. Van Donsel’s legal opinion in regards to this. Mr. Schrader stated that Mr. Gates was hired to handle this matter for the County. Mr. Williams asked why Mr. Gates was involved in the review of a local law and no the County Attorney. Chairman Brown expressed that at the last Legislative Session Mr. Gates was present and explained to the Legislature what to do in regards to this. Ms. Price inquired if the information, which was discussed in Executive Session, was now OK to share with others. Chairman Brown stated that it was. Committee members discussed prohibiting Election Commissioners from holding any Officer position within a political party and this limiting the members of a political party from appointing officers. Mr. Cornel discussed an e-mail he received from a person in Truxton which discusses a “perceived conflict of interest.” Ms. Tytler suggested that the Committee split this local law and move forward with it. She also suggested that the Committee continue to work on the second portion and thoroughly look at all the legal aspects to it. Mr. McKee made a motion to strike the second WHEREAS, strike the words Democrat and Republican each time and strike section # 7 in the resolution; seconded by Ms. Price. Mr. Cornell, Mr. McKee, Ms. Price, Mr. Troy and Mr. Williams voted in favor; Mr. Spaulding was opposed; motion carried and resolution Adopt Local Law Number 2 for the year 2007 A Local Law Setting the Salary of Election Commissioners For Cortland County in Compliance with Election Law 3-208 and Prohibiting Election Commissioners from holding any Officer Position within a Political Party was amended.
Committee members agreed to continue discussion regarding the local law now titled:
Law Number 2 for the year 2007 A Local Law Setting the Salary of Election
Commissioners For Cortland County in Compliance with Election Law 3-208 –
Chairman Brown expressed that she believed the salaries were too high for
part- time Election Commissioners. Mr.
Spaulding agreed with Chairman Brown’s statement and he also felt the
salaries are too high. Chairman
Brown stated that this not affect the Election Commissioners current term but
will set the salaries for future terms. Chairman
Brown suggested that the amount of $25,000 be inserted in the resolution.
Mr. Spaulding suggested inserting the amount of $15,000.
Mr. Cornell expressed that one of the Election commissioners has been
here for ten years. Chairman
Brown stated that length of service is not an issue; the issue is to set a
reasonable salary. Ms. Price
inquired as to where and how the salary was set in the first place.
Chairman Brown stated that the salary was set as part of the Management
Comp Plan. Mr. Troy inquired as
to where the dollar amount came from. Mr.
Schrader expressed that it was 75% of the Grade 10 salary.
Mr. Williams stated that we all have thoughts as to what the salary
should be set at but he added that he would like to know how other counties
run their Election Offices. Chairman
Brown expressed that under New York State Election Law we do not have the
authority to state how they run their offices; the County only has the
authority to pay them. Mr.
Schrader stated that 75% of Grade 10 is approximately $27,000.
Mr. Williams inquired as to where the 75% came from.
Mr. Schrader stated that a survey was conducted regarding the amount of
time the Election Commissioners put in and then compared to fulltime
positions. He stated that this
survey was conducted in 2003. Mr.
Williams inquired as to what other positions were listed under Grade 10.
Mr. Schrader listed others in Grade 10.
Mr. Troy discussed this being time sensitive and needing to be
completed at this month’s Legislative Session.
Ms. Price stated that she desires to keep the salary the same.
Mr. Spaulding stated that he would like to reduce it.
Mr. Williams stated that he would like to see a criteria for the salary
established excluding any longevity. Ms.
Price stated that she would leave it if justified or reduce it if justified
but added that she needs facts to make any changes.
Mr. McKee, Mr. Troy and Mr. Cornell all agreed with Mr. Williams.
Mr. Cornell inquired if this could be tabled.
Chairman Brown stated that it could not. Mr. Armstrong stated that if the Committee goes with 75% of
Grade 10 salary, this allows for a base salary and gives a basis for the
future. Mr. Troy made a motion to
insert the salary of $27, 176 in this resolution, which reflects 75% of the
Grade 10 salary; seconded by Mr. Williams.
Chairman Brown stated that 75% of the Grade 10 salary is both logical
and reasonable. Ms. Price
expressed that the basis of this salary was set in 2004 and we are now almost
in 2008. Ms. Tytler expressed
that this gives a sold rational approach to correcting this.
Mr. Spaulding stated that he believes this is moving too fast for a
good approach and added that it needs to be looked at closer.
He stated that he still believes $27,000 is too high and he will not
support it. Chairman Brown stated
that even if we do not like this amount, the survey was done and does allow
for setting criteria. Mr. Spaulding stated that with all respect to Mr. Schrader,
who did the survey. Mr. Schrader
stated that it was a self-survey done over a period of one month.
Mr. Williams stated that this is the best we have to go on.
Ms. Price inquired if anyone had another idea.
Mr. Spaulding stated that in his opinion this is set too high for the
work that is being done. Mr.
McKee stated that currently with the new HAVA changes being made the time put
in by the Elections Commissioners would increase for what needs to be done.
Mr. Schrader stated that at any time he could request another survey to
be conducted. He also stated that
it depends on the month that the study is done.
Mr. Troy stated that before the meeting he agreed with Mr. Spaulding
and had penciled in $20,000 for his own figure but since there is a basis
being set he has changed his mind. Mr.
Spaulding again stated that he is not in favor of this but he is in favor of a
new survey being conducted for future use.
Mr. Cornell, Mr. McKee, Ms. Price, Mr. Troy and Mr. Williams voted
in favor; Mr. Spaulding was opposed; resolution adopted as amended.
Committee members continue discussion regarding prohibiting Election Commissioners from holding any Officer position within a political party
expressed that Mr. Gates has suggested that this be done by amending the Code
of Ethics and stating it clearly and concisely and by establishing ethical
boundaries. He also stated that
this could be a document separate of the Code of Ethics if this were the
desire of the Legislature and added that it is not a time sensitive issue.
Mr. Van Donsel questioned if this would need to be done as a Local Law
or by Resolution and further questioned the Legislature’s having the
authority constitutionally to do this. Mr.
Williams made a motion to table this until the next meeting, December 6, 2007,
and have Mr. Gates present to answer any questions; seconded by Mr. Troy.
Mr. Schrader discussed the Hatch Act and Election Commissioners serving
as Chairmen of Political Parties. All
members present voting in favor; none
opposed; tabled until December 6, 2007.
3. Authorize Agreements Personnel/Civil Service (Several Agencies) – Ms. Price moved adoption; seconded by Mr. Troy. No discussion occurred regarding this resolution. All members present voting in favor; none opposed; resolution adopted.
4. Amend Management/Management Confidential Comp Policy Grade and Step Schedule for 2007– Mr. Spaulding moved adoption; seconded by Ms. Price. Mr. Schrader explained that this increase mirrors what was reflected in the 2008 Budget, a 3% increase. Mr. Schrader pointed out that the Deputy Director of Information Technology is listed at a different grade due to the need for his or her salary to be higher due to current market pressures. Mr. Schrader also indicated that the current candidate under consideration has agreed to accept the position at Step 3 of Grade 4 and he requested the Committee’s approval to do so. Ms. Tytler discussed the grade a position is listed in reflects the responsibilities of the position. She addressed her concerns of changing a position in that grade system due to market pressures but added that she did understand why Mr. Schrader was doing this. Mr. Schrader explained that there is a need to make these changes to the plan or else there would not be a plan. All members present voting in favor; none opposed; resolution adopted.
Revise Self-Insurance Rates - Cortland County Employees’ Health Benefits
Program – Mr. Troy moved adoption; seconded by Mr. Spaulding.
Mr. Schrader expressed that this is reflected in the 2008 Budget.
All members present voting in
favor; none opposed; resolution adopted.
Authorizing an Agreement with CSEA Strategic Benefit Trust For the
Provision of an Alternative Prescription Drug Program Under the Cortland
County Health Plan – Mr. Spaulding moved adoption; seconded by Mr.
McKee. Mr. Schrader explained
that this allows for a cheaper method for employees to receive prescriptions
and added that the county will stay out of the process.
He stated that it is legal for employees as individuals to purchase
these prescriptions but it is illegal for the County to do so.
He added that all employees may participate.
Mr. Schrader discussed the annual cap of $3,900 and stated that there
are other counties that have saved up to $180,000 annually.
He added that these are maintenance prescriptions only and there are no
co-pays for maintenance drugs. He
expressed that this will be reevaluated in one-year.
Committee members inquired if prescriptions for the Jail can be
purchased in this manner. Mr.
Schrader stated that they couldn’t. All
members present voting in favor; none opposed; resolution adopted.
Mr. Schrader explained that
there was an additional resolution that did not make in on the agenda
regarding a vacancy at the Highway Department.
He explained that a retired Motor Equipment Operator has agreed to
return on a temporary on-call basis. Ms.
Price made a motion to approve the resolution Mr. Schrader has discussed,
Create Temporary Motor Equipment
Operator Highway Department; seconded by Mr. Troy.
All members present voting in favor; none opposed; resolution
1. Vacancy Report, Personnel Officer – Ms. Gosse provided a copy of the Vacancy Report to all Legislators.
Mr. Williams inquired if Mr. Schrader would take care of contacting Mr. Gates to attend the next Personnel Committee meeting. Mr. Schrader agreed to.
Mr. Troy stated that there was an article in the Cortland Standard in regards to a County Law Department. Mr. Cornell inquired as to where the Legislature would begin to do something like this. Mr. Williams suggested that the Legislature look into this in January. Committee members discussed making a change to the Rules of Order in regards to appointing an attorney for a term on one-year instead of a two-year term. They expressed that this would give the Legislature a period of time to look into this properly.
Ms. Price inquired about the Workers Compensation Policy. Mr. Schrader expressed that if the Legislature were to revamp the current policy, he recommends that the committee take a really good look into this beginning in January and look at the laws that exist and address concerns.
Ms. Price inquired about changing the name of General Services Committee back to Buildings and Grounds Committee. Committee members stated that this should be discussed and decided in January by the incoming Legislature.
Troy made a motion to adjourn the
meeting; seconded by Mr. Williams. Mr.
Cornell adjourned the meeting at 8:30 a.m.