by Carol Thompson
When Michael C. Backus takes office Jan. 1, he has his work cut out for him.
Backus, 28, of Mexico, won the race for Oswego County clerk, an office that has been plagued with controversy.
“My approach as clerk will be gradual and measured,” he said. “I look forward to meeting with the employees in the days ahead and hearing their ideas on the office as it currently exists. Then we’ll begin implementing some new practices and programs that we’ve outlined throughout the campaign.”
Backus did not fully address the question of whether he will call for an audit of the office nor how he intends to rebuild the office that legislators have referred to as “dismantled.”
Oswego County Legislature Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said Wednesday that while he remains hopeful Backus will work toward betterment of the office, he will continue to keep a close watch.
“Mr. Backus has an opportunity to go in and make the proper changes in that office, but to sit there and say he needs to evaluate…the evaluation has been done, the damage has been done and someone needs to go in and correct that damage,” Kunzwiler said.
“We’re going to hold him to that level that he will correct what’s wrong in that office.”
Phil Vasho, a former legislator who challenged Backus, said he, too, will keep up to date on the clerk’s office. Vasho had the support of several employees, whom he had met with prior to the election to hear their concerns.