Category Archives: Other News

Legislators discuss pending litigation

by Carol Thompson

At the conclusion of Tuesday’s meeting of the Oswego County Legislature’s Infrastructure and Facilities Committee meeting, legislators entered into executive session to discuss pending litigation in the matter of JWJ vs. Oswego County.

Jeffrey Holbrook, owner of JWJ, Inc. is reportedly pursuing his case against the county in the matter of the Flow Control law that was passed October 2008.

The law mandated that all construction and demolition waste generated inside the county had to be disposed of within the county.

Holbrook sued in federal county, claiming that the new law would put him out if business if he was forced to dump within the county boundaries.

He won the case with the judge ruling that the county’s law is unconstitutionally vague.

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

Committee postpones FOIL policy

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature’s Strategic Planning and Government Committee took no action on adopting a new Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) policy until more information is gathered.

Legislators said last month that they wanted to seek the opinion of Robert Freeman, the executive director of the New York State Committee on Open Government prior to adopting a policy.

During Thursday’s meeting, Legislature Clerk Wendy Falls said she had contacted Freeman and he suggested contacting the New York State Association of Counties because the issue relates more to policy than Freedom of Information law.

Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler asked if NYSCA would have more of a benchmark type of policy.

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

County data management contract award still in limbo

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature won’t be awarding a data management contract for the county clerk’s office when they meet next week.

An update given during Wednesday’s meeting of the Community and Consumer Affairs Committee had little to offer, said Legislator Amy Tresidder.

County Administrator Phil Church said that the committee assigned to review the request for proposals had not completed the work, Tresidder said.

The county has been attempting to award a contract for over 18 months as controversy has shrouded the process on previous occasions. The latest round of solicitation for proposals resulted in eight vendors submitting quotes.

Due to the controversy, Church is autonomously handling the process, something that not all legislators are comfortable with.

Following findings of conflicts of interest with the current vendor, Church said that all communication between employees and any of the bidders would cease.

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

Annual county audit underway

by Carol Thompson

The annual audit of Oswego County government finances is underway. This year, the county clerk’s office is included in the financial review.

County Treasurer John Kruk confirmed the annual review audit is in progress.

“We get audited every year,” he said. “We have to have an audit by law.”

The treasurer’s office is audited and each year a department is also selected. This year, Kruk said, the county clerk’s office was chosen.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-639

Seven-year-old Michael Doney: The rest of the story

by Bob and Sandy Weston

Wednesday, April 4, The Valley News had a picture of seven-year-old Michael Doney and Kelly Hayden.

Michael had just presented the Hayden family $200 in gift cards substituting for the birthday gifts that he would have received. The family had lost everything in a fire and Michael wanted to do something to help them out, especially because Kelly is Michael’s classmate at Volney Elementary.

We were so impressed by the generosity of this young man that we wanted to know more about him. Contacting his mother, we made arrangements to meet with Michael’s dad Mike, mother Renee and three-year-old brother Walker. In doing so, we also met Jake (their beautiful three-legged dog) and Coco the guinea pig. We didn’t get the chance to meet their elusive cat Stinky.

Sitting down with the family in their lovely country home, we came to realize what a special relationship they all had and how far beyond his years Michael was and is in recognizing the needs of others.

His mother had worked as a guidance councilor for Social Services for 12 years. At age two-and-a-half, Michael began asking his mother to tell him stories about the kids she worked to help.

His mom told Michael that she interacted with families where the children lacked blankets, adequate food and clothing amongst other things. Michael always asked her if there was a way that he could help other kids. Giving considerable thought to his question, his mother asked him if he knew how lucky he was.

When his third birthday was approaching, Michael told his mom that instead of receiving gifts at his birthday party for family and friends, he wanted to give gifts to others.

After discussing with Michael that there were kids who had serious health problems, his mom contacted the Make-a-Wish Foundation for him. A note went out to his invited guests stating that he didn’t want presents. Instead he asked them to bring spare change to donate to a worthy cause.

Michael’s first magnanimous gesture resulted in $77 being collected for ill children. He received a gracious thank you note and a calendar from the foundation showing some kids and what they did with the money.

Asking Michael how he felt about what he did, he said, “I felt really good to help them out.”

When he was about to celebrate his fourth birthday Feb. 4, six weeks after Christmas when Santa was very generous, Michael said that for this birthday he wanted his guests to bring coats, hats and mittens for kids that didn’t have them. No gifts for Michael; just gifts for others. Collected at his birthday party, several items were sent to Social Services for children in need.

Continuing his wish to help other kids, Michael asked his mom prior to his fifth birthday where he should give his presents this year.

It was the year of the devastating tsunami so it was known that so many people had lost most if not all that they owned including the most basic of items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste.

For this birthday, the invitation specifically said not to bring any gifts; just the items he requested. Not knowing how to handle the items Michael collected, his mom contacted a nearby neighbor who was in charge of a Girl Scout group that was sending care packages and the items were sent.

His sixth birthday was no different than the others. He originally thought that he wanted to get blankets and items of this nature for the elderly.

Going over several different things, Michael finally decided that he wanted to buy games for the elderly. His mom contacted Michaud Nursing Home telling them what they wanted to do. She was told that being so close to Christmas, they didn’t need blankets or warm items but would be grateful to receive games.

The nursing home was having their game room redone and didn’t have any games. Along with the games, Michael’s guests were also very creative in bringing magnifying glasses and eye glass chain holders to his party.

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

School budget vote to be held this Tuesday

by Nicole Reitz

Residents of the Fulton school district will have the opportunity to vote Tuesday on the school district’s budget proposal.

The Fulton Board of Education approved a $62.39 million tentative budget April 10. The budget is $2.15 million increase from the current year budget.

The budget is supported by an increase of $1.2 million in state aid and a 1.9-percent increase in the local tax levy, which is below the two-percent tax cap. The board will also use $2 million from its reserve fund.

Over the past three years, the district has faced significant reductions to programs and supports, including the elimination of over 50 staff positions.

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City approves pawn shop law

by Andrew Henderson

Members of the Fulton Common Council adopted a law last week that regulates secondhand dealers, also known as pawn shops.

Mayor Ron Woodward said the legislation was crafted after a number of pawn shops opened in the city.

“Last year, we saw a number of secondhand dealers pop up in Fulton,” he said. “We believe that this has led to an increase in burglaries.”

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Hannibal, Phoenix libraries receive state funding

by Andrew Henderson

The Hannibal and Phoenix libraries are among a handful of Oswego County libraries to receive construction grant funding, according to state representatives.

Senator Patty Ritchie announced that more than $100,000 in funding will be awarded to libraries in Oswego County through public library construction grant funds.

The grant funds are from $14 million in capital funds for public library construction provided in the 2011 state budget.

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