Tag Archives: Fred Beardsley

County clerk candidates to be selected Tuesday

by Carol Thompson

Both major political parties will select a candidate to run for the office of County Clerk in November.

A vacancy has occurred due to the Sept. 3 death of George Williams, who had served in the position for three decades.

The Oswego County Republican Committee members will chose between Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley and GOP Chairman Michael C. Backus.

The Oswego County Democrat Committee has not announced their candidates although Oswego Town Clerk Theresa Cooper has expressed an interest.

As of press time, both committees have a meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

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Two Republicans seeking party’s nomination for clerk

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Republican Committee will meet next week to select a candidate to be on the ballot in November for the position of county clerk.

Oswego County Republican Committee Chairman Michael C. Backus and Oswego County Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley are both seeking the nomination.

The position will be on the ballot due to the death of George Williams, who had served for three decades.

The day after his funeral, several committee members said they received a letter signed by Williams’ wife, Norma Williams, seeking support for Beardsley. “Sadly we have come to the end of an era and the office of County Clerk is vacant,” the letter states.

“Fred has the campaign experience and the county wide name recognition to win the election. Fred has the integrity to run the County Clerk’s office. To me the choice is clear.”

The letter continues, “I am supporting Fred for County Clerk. It is not just what I want, I know it is what George would want.”

The letter concludes, “Please do the right thing for the office of County Clerk, the people of Oswego County and the Republican Party cast your vote for Fred Beardsley (sic).”

The Democrats will also have a candidate. As of press time, they have not made an announcement as to whom will be on the ballot.

Due to the timing of the vacancy, the position will be on the November ballot, however, each major party committee selects a candidate due to the lack of time for petitioning.

The office has been shrouded in controversy in recent years

Oswego County Democrat Chairman Mike Kunzwiler said that should his party candidate win the office, a complete audit of the clerk’s office will be the first order of business.

Backus said he will do an evaluation and make a decision once all the aspects of the county clerk’s office have been reviewed.

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Camp Hollis capital project resolution fails at committee

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee failed to approve a capital project at Camp Hollis that would address bluff erosion control.

The Oswego City-County Youth Bureau had requested the funding.

The committee considered a request to add an additional $10,000 to the capital fund at the Aug. 29 meeting, however, a lack of a meeting quorum resulted in Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley to fill in to meet the required number of committee members necessary to hold a meeting.

With one legislator voting against the resolution, it failed.

In 2009, the Camp Hollis Task Force recommended several infrastructure projects for Camp Hollis, according to an informational memorandum.

“One of the top priorities was to address the erosion of the bluffs,” the memo states. “About one and a half feet of shoreline erodes each year due to wave action as well as insufficient drainage.”

Earlier this year, a design/build request for proposals was issued to seek solutions and costs to stabilize the bluffs. Seven firms submitted nine proposals.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the Valley News at our office or at one of several locations throughout the City. For Subscriptions call 598-6397.

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Jail study to be discussed behind closed doors

by Carol Thompson

Members of the Oswego County Legislature’s Old Jail Property and Planning Committee, along with members of the Infrastructure and Facilities Committee, met at the Department of Social Services complex in Mexico Tuesday to discuss whether to move ahead with a study to determine how to move forward with the former jail property.

County purchasing director Fred Maxon recommended the committee  interview three potential vendors.

Legislator Morris Sorbello, who chairs the jail committee, requested a motion to interview the vendors and allow legislators to ask questions.

Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley did not see the need for the interviews. “If we’re going to tear the building down, if that’s the decision made to take the building down, then a number of these questions, the structural integrity of the building doesn’t become our problem, it becomes the low bidders problem,” he said.

The full legislature will eventually decide the fate of the deteriorated structure that once served as the county jail.

When construction of the new public safety center was completed, the former jail sat dormant and is now in a condition beyond repair.

At issue is whether the county should sell the property with the building or demolish the structure and sell the land.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the Valley News at our office or at one of several locations throughout the City. For Subscriptions call 598-6397.

Legislators review ethics policy

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature’s Strategic Planning and Government Committee reviewed a draft ethics policy that will eventually be the subject of a public hearing.

Legislator Milferd Potter said he had some concerns with the policy when it came up for discussion during Monday’s meeting.

“I think we are being a little bit tough on elected officials,” he said.

A part of the draft law prohibits legislators from taking a county job for two years.

“I don’t think we need to be more strict on this than what the state law requires,” Potter said. “I don’t think we should have a two year wait.”

Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler asked what the state law provides. The county must follow the state’s ethics code and can add more but cannot subtract from.

“I don’t think it needs to be in there,” Potter said.

County Attorney Richard Mitchell said the clause applies more to vendors.

A discussion ensued as to vendor relationships and whether anyone covered under the policy cannot do personal business with the vendor.

Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley used Legislator Doug Malone as an example. Malone owns an automotive repair shop and if a county vendor needed a tire repaired and they were down the street from Malone’s shop,  Malone would not be able to fix the tire, Beardsley said.

Malone said he cannot tow vehicles or work for the county and spoke about work he performed more than a decade ago that he was not allowed to receive payment for because of the conflict-of-interest.

The county had also been sued in the past by a group of taxpayers who objected to the county doing business with employees who own businesses.

There was uncertainty as to how the county’s policy addressed the issue.

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

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County approves money for solar project

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature accepted $835 in additional funding for the Bunner Street complex solar energy project, bringing the total cost to $106,820.

During Thursday’s meeting, a resolution to approve the additional funds was approved with little discussion.

Legislator Doug Malone questioned if the project had gone out to bid.

Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley said the answer was unknown. “We don’t recall,” he said.

The solar energy system project was originally approved May 2010. It was a set up to install a 19.3 kW solar generation system and later increased to a 28kW syem.

Part of the project required access to the ceiling area of the complex and asbestos testing was required before the work could proceed, according to the resolution.

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

Funding approved for asbestos study

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature voted May 12 to transfer $30,000 from a building renovations capital reserve fund to an asbestos study capital account to pay for testing of all county facilities.

The county is testing for asbestos in all its county facilities after an employee raised concerns at the Department of Social Services. Asbestos, not at dangerous levels, was located in some of the ceiling tiles at the DSS facility.

“Do we have a firm number about what this capital project will cost?” Legislator Shawn Doyle asked.

Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley said he did not have a firm cost, however, county officials have given an estimate of upward of $1 million.

County Administrator Phil Church said the budget transfer will cover the cost of some testing that has already been done and the testing of the remaining buildings.

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

Oswego County residents charged with welfare fraud

Oswego County Department of Social Services staff detected 117 cases of attempted fraud last year, saving county taxpayers $566,916 in avoided costs, Oswego County Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley said.

Beardsley said the cases involved attempts by people to collect benefits while living in other states, filing for duplicate benefits, not reporting income, and attempting to collect benefits while incarcerated in a correctional facility.

In addition, eight people were arrested over the past few weeks and charged with welfare fraud and grand larceny. The arrests involve the alleged theft of more than $35,000 in overpayments.

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