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PALMYRA (Aug 9 10) – With harness racers doing warm-up laps behind them and the sounds of the fairground coming to life on its first day, the Wayne County Board of Supervisors worked their way through a routine agenda this morning.

Board Chairman Jim Hoffman (Williamson) said it was the first time the supervisors had held their meeting outside of Lyons, the county seat, as members were welcomed by officials from the 155th annual Wayne County Fair.

The meeting was held in a large striped tent, in the northwest corner of the fair property, just outside midway rides and local food vendors.

Only three agenda items drew any opposition.

Supervisors Steve Groat (Galen) and Dick Colacino (Arcadia) objected to hiring an outside firm, Hancock & Estabrook of Syracuse, to conduct contract negotiations with the Police Officers’ Association, the Professional Service Workers Local 81382 IUE-CWA, CSEA Local 859 General Unit 9100-02, and CSEA Local 859 Supervisor Employees Unit 9100.

“I strongly oppose this,” said Groat, saying there were strongly qualified people in the county who could conduct the negotiations. “It’s not the right approach, to take complete strangers to negotiate with our employees.” He said the per-hour service rates ($220 and $195) “are an injustice to the taxpayer and the negotiating process.”

Colacino agreed, saying the biggest complaint he heard from county employees after the last contracts were negotiated was that “county board members would not talk to employees.”

Supervisor Dave Spickerman (Butler) disagreed: “This is the group that did it last time and they’re very qualified. Our staff doesn’t have the time. This is the right approach.”

On the vote to approve the contract, Colacino and Groat were the only dissenting votes.

Spickerman also cast the lone “Nay” vote on a motion to pay 50 percent of the costs for the second-floor restoration build-out at the county’s Health Building on Nye Road. The owners of the building will pay half the cost; the county will pick up the rest.

And Supervisor Ken Lauderdale (Savannah) was the single “Nay” vote on a measure to pay taxable travel reimbursements to supervisors: he wanted the motion to peg the reimbursements to a percentage of the federal IRA mileage allowance.

One measure that was not approved was the transfer of the old lever-type voting machines to a county storage facility. That motion was tabled until next month when a new motion that will offer the machines to school districts for use and for parts, and to offer the remainder to BOCES or for scrap.

In items of note, the board approved:

Riot Gear for the Sheriff’s Department – Sheriff Barry Virts wants to buy 62 riot helmets and 66 pair of shin guards. The need for such equipment became evident during the opening days of the Mott’s employees strike in Williamson. “We had to borrow equipment from Ontario County,” Virts explained. Director of Emergency Management George Bastedo was able to make an argument for buying the equipment under Ginna nuclear power plant preparedness funds, and the supervisors agreed.

County-wide Emergency Radio Upgrade – The supervisors awarded bids to install 388 new mobile radios for fire, police and EMS services to Flower City Communications of Rochester and Finger Lakes Communications of Auburn,. A second bid approved purchase of 45 equipment consoles for sheriff’s office patrol cars, also from low bidder Finger Lakes Communications.

Hotchkiss Building Title Transfer – The historic building will be turned over to the village of Lyons when the restoration project is complete. The village will also take title to all personal property, furnishings and artifacts in the building before Sep. 15.

Nursing Home Comptroller – Comptroller Andrew Richardson resigned effective Aug. 4 but has offered to stick around and help with transition of his replacement for $50/hour on an as-needed basis. The board okayed a maximum salary of $65,000 for the new comptroller.

Rail Spur Grant – The supervisors agreed to support a Seneca County grant application to make rail improvements on the Corning Secondary Line in Wayne County and along other short-line track owned or operated by Finger Lakes Railway. This motion was discussed on Friday at the Finance Committee meeting – the grant would help reinvigorate a north-south rail line to Geneva. Lauderdale said the investment was needed. “Somewhere you have to go in and prime the pump,” he said.


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  1. Anonymous Said,

    As a former county employee who is familiar with past contract negotiations I have to strongly disagree with Mr. Spickerman. The supervisor's office has grown considerably during Mr. Spickerman's time on the board not only in number but in their high rate of pay. How does he justify their current high pay when the people they replaced did the negotiations without the additional expenses of hiring outside help. As a taxpayer I have found it necessary to tighten my budget how about you supervisors doing the same. I know this is falling on deaf ears but I just needed to say it.

    Posted on Mon Aug 09, 06:35:00 PM EDT


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