All posts by Nicole Reitz

Info Quick Solutions receives county clerk contract

by Carol Thompson

Following a lengthy and sometimes heated debate, Info Quick Solutions, Inc. was awarded a contract to provide data imaging services to the office of the county clerk.

Despite being the highest priced and receiving the lowest overall rating from a proposal review panel, a majority of Republican legislators supported the company.

For 45 minutes, legislators debated Thursday in the chambers of the Pulaski Court House.

IQS was given the lowest score of the five companies vying for the contract. IQS was given an overall score of 457.25 while Property Info Corp. had the highest score at 649 followed by ACS Systems with a score of 618.25. IMR received a score of 561.25 and New Vision was scored at 516.25.

It was an issue that was referenced several times by legislators who spoke in opposition.

Legislator Jake Mulcahey was the first to speak when the resolution was presented.

He questioned the request for proposal process, followed by the reading of a cost comparison between IQS and the four other bidding companies. He noted that the cost of one map from IQS will cost taxpayers $7 while the top rated vendor would charge 60 cents.

Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said the vote came down to the dollars, cents and the facts.

“This process was put in place to protect our taxpayers from exactly what’s happening today,” he said. “Today you put up a company that cost up to $300,000 or more (over the other bidders),” Kunzwiler said. “These are facts that taxpayers should know.”

Kunzwiler said that the IQS was receiving the contract “for pure political reasons.”

He added, “This is not for the taxpayers. There’s no other way you can spin it.”

He urged legislators to do the right thing for the taxpayers.

Republican Majority Leader Jack Proud explained the protocol of the legislature and the role of the seven oversight committees. He noted that the legislature has been 18 months without being able to award a contract.

“What we’re here to decide is which company provides the best processing and the best service,” he said, adding that IQS was more cost effective. “In other words, we want more bang for our buck.”

Legislator Dan Chalifoux said that the contract award has been discussed many times and that the time had come to make a decision. He called the question to end debate and force a vote.

With legislators Kevin Gardner and Morris Sorbello absent, there were not enough Republicans present to secure the two-thirds majority needed and the call to question failed.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Press release on clerk’s contract irks legislators

by Carol Thompson

A press release issued Friday to announce the awarding of a contract by the Oswego County Legislature to Info Quick Solutions, Inc. of Liverpool has the ire of some legislators who said they cannot recall the county sending out public notices of contract awards.

“They are using the county offices for political tools,” Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said upon receiving a copy of the release from Janet Clerkin of the Promotion and Tourism office.

“This is making it sound like the whole legislature approved this,” he added.

Several legislators said they were unaware of the press release until they received it via e-mail.

The release states, “The Oswego County Legislature on Thursday awarded a contract to Info Quick Solutions of Liverpool, NY for text and imaging services for the County Clerk’s Office.”

It continues, “The firm will use its own equipment to scan and record data for a variety of transactions, including property transfers, digitized maps, historical documents, pistol permits, court records, and other records which the County Clerk’s Office is required to keep or provide. Similar services are provided by all county clerks in New York State. County clerks keep and maintain records for the Supreme Court and County Court as required by the State Constitution and several state laws.”

The release continues with statements from Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley and County Administrator Phil Church.

“Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley said the contract review process followed strict procedures to make sure the selection process was fair and ethical, and that the final contract is in the best interest of the county and its residents,” it states.

“The county issued a request for proposals in February,” said Chairman Beardsley. “A bipartisan review panel, which included representatives of the Legislature and the system’s end-users, including the court system and land title industry, evaluated and scored five proposals. All identifying information was removed from the materials before the panel reviewed them. In fairness to the vendors and to protect the integrity of the process, members of the review committee were required to keep the information they received confidential.”

Church is quoted as stating, “Panelists conferred with each other to take advantage of each other’s expertise and perspectives, routed all questions to vendors through my office, and scored the proposals independently. The process complied with state and county procurement policy and law, and was augmented with additional safeguards that, although lengthy, were designed to provide the Community and Consumer Affairs Committee with proposal evaluations that are credible and insulated from real or perceived influence.”

The contract was awarded to IQS by a 15-8 vote following an often heated debate.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Poetry Corner: Dinner Guests

by Jim Farfaglia

 

Four and twenty blackbirds

baking in this August heat

fly into my backyard

and rest in the cool evening shade.

 

They peck at my mowed lawn for hors d’oeuvres,

take turns at the feeder for today’s entrée,

then use my larger-than-life fingerbowl

to wash the weariness from their day.

 

There’s not a feather of color on any of them.

Their call carries not a note of beauty.

But I love how they flutter when I say hello,

how they scatter and disappear

 

and how they always come back.

PaulMcKinney

A Little Of This And A Little Of That: August 15, 2012

by Paul McKinney

Forty-five years ago this fall, I was working as an office boy for the Palladium-Times in Fulton. The papers would arrive by truck from Oswego and be dumped at the little paper office door on Cayuga Street next to Perkin’s Florist.

My big time responsibility was to count out the papers and put them into neat piles so the paper boys could run in, put them in their canvas bags, and get on their way with deliveries. I graduated from paperboy to office boy after a couple of years. It sure did beat having to go out into those “lake effect” snowstorms during the winter.

One day, Don McCann came into the office. Don was the advertising manager for the Pal-Times. His weekly visit was to talk with Carl Johnson, the Fulton manager and editor. Carl was a great guy to work for. I remember Don as this funny little guy about 5’4 with an infectious laugh. Don was always very professional, well spoken, and very good at his job.

I had attended a couple of plays presented by the Oswego Players and knew that Don was well embedded in the group’s organization. He and I would talk on occasion about the theater since I had been in a couple of plays at Fulton High School.

I remember this one afternoon when Don came in to the office and asked me, “Paul, the Players are in rehearsal for a production of the old English farce, ‘She Stoops to Conquer.’ One of the leads has had to drop out and I thought you might be interested in reading for the part.” I can remember how excited I was to be asked and said, “Yes”, immediately.

Later that night, I traveled down to the little Frances Marion Brown Theater by Fort Ontario and walked onto the stage and into the part. I think they were desperate so I got the roll on the spot. I can tell you now, that I didn’t know the difference between an old English farce and an American tragedy, or stage right and stage left. I just knew that I was in an Oswego Players production and I was thrilled and scared as hell.

Little did I know that this would be one of the best things to happen in my life. Here I am 45 years later and I still love the Oswego Players.

While, I’m not able to participate much any more, I still pay my dues (most of the time) and have wonderful memories of the productions I have been a part of over the years. When I do have the occasion to attend a meeting and sit in that warm cozy place, I feel surrounded by the many friendly “ghosts” that fill the theater.

Many of the present “crew” are new faces to me. Yet even though I do not know them well, we all share a common bond: the love of theater.

When you are a member of Players, you find yourself wearing many hats. You could be painting flats for the set, working the lights in the light bridge or standing at the door ushering folks up those two tiny steps to their seats.

To read the rest of the column, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Church to hold school supply giveaway

The Trinity United Methodist Church in Oswego will be holding a school supply giveaway Saturday, Aug. 25 from 10 a.m. until supplies are exhausted.

The church is requesting that children be in attendance and that they have their class supply lists with them.

Supplies will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The church will be focusing on the elementary grade lists only.

Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 45 E. Utica St., Oswego.

Those seeking more information may call the church at 343-1715.

Fulton Community Theatre to hold auditions for holiday productions

The Fulton Community Theatre will hold open auditions for its Halloween and Christmas productions, which will close out its 2012 season.

Auditions will be held Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 20 and 21 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Bishop’s Hall of Holy Trinity Parish, 309 Buffalo Street, Fulton.

No preparation is required. Auditioners will read scenes from the shows. The Christmas production is a play with music, with those auditioning for that show asked to sing acapella from any holiday standard.

The Halloween production, the first for FCT, is an evening on one-acts titled “Foretold Tales.”

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ClassicWinner

Historic Oswego Speedway photos to be displayed at library

The attached photo of Bentley Warren was taken by Oswego Public Library Director Carol Ferlito. Bentley Warren won his first International Classic back in 1969.

In celebration of the upcoming Classic race at the Oswego Speedway, the Oswego Public Library will be displaying photos from past classics.

The public will have the opportunity to see black and white photos of the 1957 classic winner Jack Murphy, the 1958 winner Billy Blum, winners  Nolan Swift, Lee Bliss, Art Bennett and the more recent winners Mike Ordway, Doug Didero, Bentley Warren and Otto Sitterly to name just a few.

Included in the display are father/son racers, the Abold and Gioia families. Classic is not just about the racers; it also includes the safety crews and fans.

The collection is made possible through the efforts of photographers Don Kranz, Joe Oleyourrk, Ray Grela, Chris Burgess and Carol Ferlito.

The display will remain up until the end of August.

The biggest Supermodified race in the world, the International Classic 200, hits Oswego Speedway every Labor Day Weekend.

Bentley Warren won his first International Classic back in 1969 driving the famous Howard Purdy Deuce, but would ultimately leave Oswego Speedway for a number of years in pursuit of other racing interests including USAC and the Indianapolis 500.

However, Warren would return to Oswego in the early 1980s, winning a track championship in 1983 for Team Heveron before teaming up with Bowley in 1984.  The 1984 season proved to be a dominating one for Warren and the Bowley Flyin’ 5 team as Warren went on to win eight regular season feature events on his way to his second consecutive Oswego track title.

With Warren now a two-time track champion, the only thing remaining was a second International Classic crown.  Just as in the 1984 regular season, Warren would prove to be nearly as dominant in the 1984 International.

After qualifying fifth fastest behind Ed Bellinger Jr., Joe Gosek, Steve Gioia Jr., and Warren Coniam, Warren would eventually work his way to the point, fending off a hard charging Dave Shullick Sr. to collect his first Classic triumph in 15 years.

Shullick, Gioia, Jamie Moore, and Gosek would complete the Top 5 in 1984, but the stage was now set for what would turn out to be a fantastic stretch of years for Bowley and Warren.

The Oswego Public Library is located at 120 E. 2nd St. across from the County Courthouse.

Light In The Darkness: August 15, 2012

by Pastor David Grey

“Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment.” 2 Peter 2:9

Last week my column was on the reality and joys of heaven. I would much rather write about heaven every week than to do so on the realities of hell and eternal punishment. However, in recent years the topic of hell has not only been  neglected but it would seem purposely avoided in far too many churches, and scripture says that both are very real places.

The time to learn that there is a heaven seek and a hell to shun is today, while there is yet hope.  Someone simply calling himself,  “The email Preacher” nailed this departure from the truth about hell when he wrote,  “If someone still believes in Hell, he is called old-fashioned, out of touch, out of step with reality, foolish and ignorant. Many appeal to rationality and reason, as they tell us that the concept of an eternal hell… is ludicrous and demeaning.

Others,  appealing to the nature of God, say that it flies in the face of everything God is to teach that He will consign some people to that awful place. Still others, turning to religion, tell us that man is capable of redeeming himself and therefore, every man is working out his own heaven and there will be hell for no one. That sounds good, but it is a lie!”

To read the rest of the column, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397