by Carol Thompson
A deputy position approved for the Oswego County clerk has gone from one of a simple title change to an office position — and several legislators are questioning how it happened.
More than a year ago, legislators approved the position of deputy clerk of operations under the presumption that the person holding the position would perform the duties stated in the job description. Legislators said that did not happen, and the position is an office job — one that isn’t needed.
Minutes of the Feb. 23, 2011 Community and Consumer Affairs Committee explain the position as that of a senior index clerk. “There used to be a Senior Index
Clerk title but it was decided the Deputy Clerk of Operations title fit in better with the position,” then-County Clerk George Williams told legislators.
The job duties included working the front counter, training and accounting.
According to the description provided by the county, the position includes overseeing the front counter 50 percent of the time and miscellaneous work, including filling in at the motor vehicle office 25 percent of the time and filling in as needed in accounting area.
“If you trace it back to the work production and training, it deteriorated when the position was created,” Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said. “That is our argument.”
Democrats and some Republican legislators were apprehensive of approving the position out of concern that a productive position, such as a senior index clerk, would be replaced with a desk job with no assistance to the employees or the public.
Some legislators are now charging that it is exactly what it has become.
The most recent concern is because the senior account clerk has reportedly been out for two weeks and an index clerk has been periodically asked to take on the job duties of the absent employee.