All posts by Nicole Reitz

Cayuga Community College tuition to increase two percent

by Andrew Henderson

The Cayuga County Legislature recently approved Cayuga Community College’s 2012-2013 budget, which includes a 3.4 percent, or approximately $130 a year, increase in tuition.

The 2012-13 annual tuition will be $3,950 for full-time students and the part-time rate will be $160 per credit. The student fees remain unchanged.

The $32.36 million college budget represents a 5.19-percent increase over last year, which is the result of the new Fulton campus in Oswego County and the fact that 80 percent of the operating expenditures are fixed costs. These expenditures include such items as heating, electrical, water, insurance, rent, and employee salary and benefit contractual obligations.

“We have done our best to propose a fiscally sound budget that keeps the college moving forward while acknowledging the investment made by Cayuga County taxpayers,” said CCC President Daniel Larson. “We are pleased to see that the county has approved the budget, including an increase in its direct allocation to us. We know from economic impact studies that for every dollar invested in the college, taxpayers will see a return with a cumulative added value of $3.30 in the form of higher tax revenues and avoided social savings costs.”

The Cayuga County Legislature approved the college’s operating budget for 2012-13 with a two-percent increase — or approximately $56,830 — in its local sponsor contribution.  This is the first increase in three years. The total direct contribution by Cayuga County now will be $2,898,345 for 2012-13.

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Fair Haven resident wins Hannibal Dollars for Scholars’ ‘Ducks Over the Dam’ race

Paul Parsons of Fair Haven and Virginia was the owner of the winning duck in Hannibal Dollars for Scholars annual “Ducks Over the Dam” race.

Parsons said one of his grandchildren was previously a recipient of one of the scholarships. He also has another grandchild currently attending college.

A total of 50 additional prizes, donated by local businesses, were awarded to race participants.

Hannibal Dollars for Scholars provides scholarships to graduates of Hannibal High School each year.

The number of scholarships awarded varies due to the amount of funds raised through events and donations during the previous year.

The Duck Derby is the largest fund-raiser, providing four scholarships each year.

In 2012, a donation of $1,000 from the Hannibal Country Cruizers sponsored two additional scholarships.

Sterling Stage patrons and management provided another scholarship as did the Hannibal School Employees Association and the Dale Osborn Music Scholarship Fund and the Jeff LaMont Memorial Fund.

Donations from the Hannibal Village Market’s cash register receipt program and other fund-raising made it possible for 12 students to receive scholarships.

The chapter is an entirely volunteer organization and is in need of additional volunteers.  Anyone interested in working with the chapter may call Louis Gilbert, chapter president, at 564-5679.

Hannibal Dollars for Scholars is a chapter of the national organization Dollars for Scholars.

FOIL policy yet to be ironed out

by Carol Thompson

How Oswego County legislators will be treated when they need public information continues to be ironed out as members of the Strategic Planning and Government Committee once again postponed the passage of a policy.

At issue is whether legislators should be required to file a Freedom of Information request form and pay for copies of records as the public must.

A draft policy was considered during Monday’s meeting, however, the committee had not concluded how many copies of records would be available before a charge kicks in.

The draft document left blank the number of copies that can be obtained for free and a new clause was added to address the election season.

County Administrator Phil Church said he had spoken with County Attorney Richard Mitchell that morning in regard to payment during the election season.

The legislators would pay for FOIL requests during the season so that there is no advantage over an opponent.

“I have no problem, I think that’s a good change,” Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said.

There has been much discussion this year as to whether legislators should pay for records that are needed in their official capacity and whether they should be required to make a request under FOIL and wait for the records as the public must.

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Democrat legislator kicked off panel to review data imaging services

by Carol Thompson

A Democrat legislator selected to serve on a panel to review proposals received for data imaging services for the Oswego County Clerk’s office had been kicked off the committee for allegedly violating the communication clause of the request for proposal.

Legislator Dan Farfaglia said he was notified July 12 that he was removed from the committee because he was quoted in the newspaper in regard to Info Quick Solutions, Inc., the current contract holder.

Farfaglia commented in regard to a system crash in the clerk’s office that left some computers down for two days.

Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said he requested Farfaglia be replaced with another Democrat, however, that did not occur.

“I accepted the decision of the Chairman (Fred Beardsley) to remove me from the panel even though I completely disagreed with it,” said Farfaglia. “I did not violate the terms of the contract that the members signed when it was formed. It stated that the we were not to speak to the media about the process. And I didn’t, all I did was publicly state my opinion regarding a serious problem with the current vendor for the County Clerk’s office.

“It would not have impaired my ability to review the proposals objectively because these were blind bids, we didn’t know which RFP’s belonged to who,” Farfaglia added. “When their computer systems crashed, I was told that it was not a major crisis and that most systems were restored. I went to the clerk’s office myself and saw that it was not the case.

“Again, IQS was supposedly brought in so that these problems wouldn’t occur,” he continued. “Now I’m extremely disgusted that IQS was selected to keep the contract despite having the lowest rating and being the most costly of the proposals. So the work of this bipartisan panel over the last few months was all for nothing. All of us wasted our time with this because the decision was made beforehand.”

During Wednesday’s meeting of the Legislature’s Community and Consumer Affairs Committee, County Clerk George Williams noted that both Judge Norman Seiter and Judge James McCarthy receive the services of IQS free of charge. The two judges have reportedly had the service for approximately two years.

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‘Godspell’ to be staged at new CNY Arts Center facility

The CNY Arts Center will present “Godspell” Aug. 17-26 in the group’s new location at the Park Street entrance of State Street Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton.

The hit musical enjoyed a Broadway revival last year with the 40th anniversary of the classic story. “Godspell” first opened when John-Michael Tebelak created the concept for his senior thesis directing project as a Carnegie Mellon University master of fine arts candidate.

After a two-week, 10-performance run at an experimental theatre club, two producers approached Tebelak with the opportunity to run the show Off Broadway.

Stephen Schwartz, a Carnegie Mellon theatre alum, joined the team to create a new score and the show opened off-Broadway in 1971to immediate success.

A few months later, “Godspell” moved to a larger theatre where it became one of the longest running Off Broadway musicals in history.

After five years of sold-out audiences Off Broadway, the show debuted on Broadway in 1976 and played another 527 performances.

In the 40 years since, “Godspell” has seen countless productions around the world in large and small theatre companies, schools and churches.

Several cast albums have been released creating popular familiarity among fans with such songs as “Day by Day,” which reached number 13 in the Billboard Top 100 chart in the summer of 1972, only a year after the musical opened.

Much like the show, Schwartz has gone on to critical acclaim as an Academy and Grammy Award winner and six time Tony Award nominee. Creator John-Michael Tebalak died of a heart attack in 1982 at the young age of 35.

“‘Godspell’ has a cult following around the world,” said Nancy Fox, director of the production. “It’s more than singing and dancing and storytelling of a familiar tale. There is a real transformation taking place in the cast that moves vicariously into the audience in unexpected ways.

“A group of disparate personalities come together as a new cast — strangers who spend weeks together exploring and expressing and building trust,” Fox added. “They learn to work together as one body that has its own energy and sense of purpose. That sense of belonging and shared group power and dynamics can be life-altering and affirming.”

Fox noted that the play is a fitting metaphor for the origin of CNY Arts Center as “strangers came together and built a body that now works with a common goal and purpose – to address the maladies that afflict the individual residents and tear away the quality of life which create despair for the whole.”

“When everyone works together in a positive context, as demonstrated by the actors working toward opening night, the possibilities for change and hope are increased exponentially,” Fox continued. “A fitting song near the end of ‘Godspell’ tells the audience when faith is shattered and trust is all but gone, we can come together and build a beautiful city as one body all working together regardless of religion, race, wealth, or party affiliations. What we do matters and this live production, this living art, is a vehicle to help us see that played out on stage. This makes ‘Godspell’ a perfect choice for our premiere production.”

Those seeking more information about production dates and times, tickets and reservations may visit the group’s web site at www. CNYArtsCenter.com or call 216-8790.

Committee recommends IQS to serve clerk’s office

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature’s Community and Consumer Affairs Committee recommended a contract for data imaging services be awarded to Info Quick Solutions, Inc. of Liverpool.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the Republican members of the committee voted to recommended the company receive the contract, based on a recommendation from County Clerk George Williams.

The county, in a third attempt to award a contract to service the county clerk’s office with data imaging services, went through a stringent process to select a company without controversy.

A panel was named to perform a blind review of the proposals and rate each one using a scoring system.

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.

Each vendor was given four pricing options. Option four, which would require county-owned hardware, had IQS with the second highest pricing. IQS submitted a proposal for $13,543.

The lowest proposal came from ACS at $5,338 with conditions. Property Info Corp. submitted a cost of $8,087.25 and New Vision submitted a price of $10,440.

The highest bidder, IMR, submitted a price of $13,995.

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Committee chair discusses vote on clerk contract

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County Legislator Terry Wilbur, who serves as the chairman of the Community and Consumer Affairs Committee, said Thursday that he didn’t feel legislators had enough time to review the proposals for a data imaging contract to service the office of the County Clerk.

County Administrator Phil Church handed out the proposals during Wednesday’s meeting. The legislators were first given “blind” copies with the names of the bidding companies substituted with letters.

A discussion ensued in regard to the proposals and prior to voting, Legislator Jake Mulcahey asked for a 15-minute recess so that those who needed to make a decision could review the 23-page document Church had given to them.

Following the recess, Church provided a key to the letter coding, naming each of the vendors.

It was decided by a majority of the committee to take the recommendation of County Clerk George Williams, who recommended Info Quick Solutions, Inc. of Liverpool.

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County DA discusses bath salts

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes spoke to members of the legislature’s Strategic Planning and Government Committee about bath salts, the synthetic drug that’s been making headlines as arrests related to use increase.

During Monday’s meeting, Oakes said he had met with the county administrator, county attorney, legislature chairman and the sheriff to talk about local legislation to prohibit sales and possession of bath salts.

“It’s becoming ever more present,” he said.

Oakes said that from the consumer standpoint, it is not known what is in the product, which can be smoked and snorted. Oakes said testing the components of the bath salts can cost between $100-$200.

The effects of the bath salts on the human body can cause a plethora of bizarre behavior.  The salts can cause the body temperature to rise to 105-106 degrees, Oakes noted. That is the reason why so many users are found naked.

Oakes said one police officer told him that it once took six officers to restrain an average size man high on bath salts.  It’s a problem for hospital staff as well as they attempt to treat someone who is paranoid, hallucinating and have super strength.

“We are fortunate that there aren’t any deaths attributed to it at this point,” Oakes said.

County Attorney Richard Mitchell said Family Court has begun to see bath salts and synthetic marijuana use in 15 and 16 year olds. He added that they are stealing it and using it.

“The ban once enacted, it will take a while for this stuff to disappear, I’m sure,” Mitchell said.

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