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SUBMITTED by Jim Hoffman, Wayne County Board of Supervisors (12-Jun-2010)

Chairman’s Column
Jim Hoffman
June 2010

At last month's Board meeting Ontario Supervisor Bob Kelsch and Savannah Supervisor Ken Lauderdale presented findings on their review of the County’s recycling program. This was a follow up to a series of discussions on recycling at monthly Economic and Development Committee meetings in 2009. The county recycling program is administered by the Western Finger Lakes Solid Waste Management Authority. With a budget of $1,568,896 the average home pays $37.44 a year for recycling when you assume there is no revenue from the sale of recyclables. The $37.44 is usually reduced somewhat from the sale of recyclable materials; the amount of the reduction varies according to the market.

Their study considered whether the County should privatize recycling and how costs could be reduced. Among their recommendations was the preparation of an independent, detailed study to objectively evaluate costs associated with various collection options and processing technologies. After consulting with former members of the Wayne County Fiscal Analysis Team, they recommended that elements of the Fiscal Analysis Team be reviewed again. Often referred to as the “FAT” team, the Fiscal Analysis Team was a group of ten volunteers appointed by the Board of Supervisors in 2005 to review county operations and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.

Recycling was one of the phases of county operations reviewed by the Fiscal Analysis Team. The Board of Supervisors followed the recommendation of the Fiscal Analysis Team and in 2006 issued a request for proposals from the private sector to handle recycling in the County. The recycling program was reviewed again and the subject of considerable discussion by the Board in 2009, which resulted in a public hearing in 2010 for a local law to privatize the county recycling program.

Other recommendations suggested by the Fiscal Advisory Team enacted by the Board of Supervisors were renaming the Data Processing Department to “Information Technology”, opening a call center or “IT help desk” for users, increasing the budget for the Wayne County Industrial Development Agency to $750,000 for economic development, hiring a professional negotiator for collective bargaining, instituting a temporary hiring freeze for eight months, establishing an employee suggestion system, implementing a contract with Finger Lakes Community College in 2007 to provide professional development programs for employees, and hiring a county administrator.

In response to suggestions within the Fiscal Advisory Team report, the Board took a number of steps:
  • Improved Behavioral Health Strategies for Mental Health resulting in the department no longer requiring a subsidy from county tax payers
  • Hired a consultant to review nursing home operations resulting in expansion of the rehabilitation program at the nursing home from 8 to 24 beds resulting in significantly increased revenue
  • Adopted a new pharmaceutical program reducing resident costs at the nursing home
  • Reduced the cost of health insurance with all employees enrolled in the County’s self insurance plan
  • Hired a county internal auditor to review expenditures. This move has been considered preliminary to hiring a county purchasing agent
  • Upgraded the position of Personnel Officer to Human Resources Director
The current Board of Supervisors is open to suggestions to improve efficiency and decrease the cost of county operations. The FAT team report, while not being an end in itself or practical to implement all of its recommendations, has never the less been of great assistance to the Board of Supervisors. Contrary to the speculations of some, County government is not a closed system. Town Supervisors are always open to new ideas on how to better serve the people of Wayne County.

If anyone has an idea or suggestion on how to improve your county government please do not hesitate to contact me via email at jhoffman@co.wayne.ny.us, via telephone at 946-5400 or contact your own Town Supervisor.


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1 Comment to "Board of Supervisors is Open to New Ideas"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    An exception is Macedon Supervisor Hammond. He lives in a vacuum, and does not care about any other part of Wayne County.

    Posted on Tue Jun 15, 06:36:00 AM EDT


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