Valley Viewpoints: Expect more of the same

by Doug Malone, Legislator

I guess the news of senator Patty Ritchie’s endorsement of Michael Backus for county clerk means Oswego County residents can expect more of the same controversy and overspending if Backus is elected.

Back in August, most of the Republican legislators voted to award a contract for the clerk’s office to IQS, the company that came in more costly than any of the other bidders. The taxpayers can expect to fork over $300,000 more over the life of the contract for the same service the other companies offered and they all had a better overall rating than IQS.

When Ritchie was the St. Lawrence County clerk, she brought IQS onboard in her office, so it’s a no brainer that the chances of cancelling the contract with IQS are slim to none if Backus becomes the next county clerk.

Backus said that having Ritchie’s insight and experience once he’s successful in the fall will be a huge asset. Should Oswego County residents take this to mean that the senator will be micromanaging the clerk’s office? I would think there’s enough for Ritchie to do in Albany than to meddle in the affairs of the Oswego County clerk’s office.

There are many problems in the clerk’s office and the successor needs to be a take charge person who can bring a dismantled office back to a functioning, cost effective operation to serve the public.

Residents need to decide if they want another county Republican chairman at the helm of the clerk’s office or if they want to be rid of mixing politics with the public’s business. We have a chance to end the Republican stronghold on county government and return the clerk’s office to the people – where it belongs.

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