Valley Viewpoints: Open door

by Michael C. Backus, Oswego County Clerk

Today I write in response to a letter from Legislator Doug Malone.

It has been a little over seven weeks since I took office as Oswego county clerk and there certainly have been many challenges that we have faced.

We brought indexing back in house, solving a major concern of many, including Legislator Malone.

We have seen an extreme up-tick in pistol permit applications, amendments and other questions related to the recent NY SAFE Act.

I have participated in several workshops and our staff has taken part in a webinar to get up to speed on other new developments regarding the NY SAFE Act.

We, as an office, made the decision to publicize our intention to request an outside, third-party audit of the Oswego County Clerk’s office – again, something that many including Legislator Malone had asked for.

And interestingly enough, we hosted an “open house” so that other elected officials and members of the public can come into our office and learn about what we do day-to-day.

Those items among several others have been on the top of my agenda as Oswego county clerk.

I also hope that you’ll notice that I say, “we” decided to ask for an audit and “we” have seen an up-tick in pistol permit applications, and “we” have brought indexing back in-house.

I write the word “we” because I have worked hand-in-hand with all the employees in this office to rebuild a positive, constructive culture in the Oswego County clerk’s office.

In seven weeks have we built a perfect system? Apparently not in some people’s eyes, but what I ask is what I asked on the campaign trail — if legislators, staff members or anyone have concerns, come see me.

Since day one, my calendar has been filled with meetings with groups of employees, individuals, abstractors, attorneys, concerned citizens, and legislators.

Not once has Legislator Malone brought any of the concerns he penned in his letter directly to me; he chose to keep up the game, play politics and publish them.

I trust you see through the veneer and I hope that Legislator Malone takes the initiative like several of his colleagues have and brings his concerns directly to me. My door is open to him and anyone else — as it always has been.

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