Tag Archives: Legislator Dan LeClair

View From The Fourth Floor: October 17, 2012

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature appointed Shane Broadwell, a Republican, to fill the District 17 seat vacated due to the death of Mary Flett.

During Thursday’s meeting, Broadwell voted rank and file on all the resolutions.

There was one Republican, however, who just couldn’t make up his mind as to how to vote on a resolution for an asbestos abatement project.

When Legislator Dan LeClair’s name was called, he passed, stating he was undecided. When everyone else had voted and it was his turn to cast a vote, he still wasn’t sure.

“I pass, I’m undecided,” he said. When he was told he had to vote, he said, “I have to go one way or the other” and cast a no vote.

LeClair was almost off the hook with his undecided vote when the first attempt was done by a show of hands. Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley appeared to have a problem counting hands.

“Is roll call easier?,” Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler quipped. Several legislators laughed as Beardsley called for the roll call vote.

*  *  *  *  *

Beardsley drew laughter when it was called for another resolution to be done by roll call vote.

“All in favor,” he called out.

Oops! That wasn’t supposed to be a collective vote.

The chairman came back with a good save, capturing another round of laughter. “All in favor of a roll call vote,” he joked.

*  *  *  *  *

Legislators can speak as long as they want, but the public is limited to five minutes, precisely timed with a contraption that signals the end.

Majority Leader Jack Proud may have felt like a member of the public when speaking on the Department of Social Services asbestos abatement project.

He was mid-sentence when a buzzing noise sounded.

“Your time’s up,” someone shouted out, resulting in yet more laughter.

*  *  *  *  *

The legislature approved the equalization rates for 2012.

Six towns and the City of Fulton are not at 100-percent. The Town of West Monroe is the lowest at 3.10 percent. “I guess I say it every year, but is West Monroe down any lower?” Kunzwiler asked. More laughter.

On a serious note, Kunzwiler said it is important for taxpayers to know that the low equalization rate increases their tax bill and that sometimes people don’t understand why the county passes a tax rate and their bills are above that rate.

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

County sheriff will need to keep asking for more jail funding

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County Sheriff Reuel “Moe” Todd did not receive approval for the full amount of funds requested to address the costs of jail overcrowding.

During a recent meeting, the legislature considered a resolution to transfer $900,000 from the appropriated fund balance to cover the cost of housing inmates in other county facilities.

Legislator Dan LeClair made a motion to amend the resolution to reduce the amount to $400,000.

“The reason is I believe there are other alternatives and we need to investigate those alternatives,” he said.

Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said the legislature is aware of the cost of housing the inmates in other facilities and added that the reduction may make state lawmakers more aware of the growing problem.

Legislator Shawn Doyle said he would echo what LeClair and Kunzwiler stated. He added that the sheriff is doing a very good job in attempting to find alternate means.

“We need to support our sheriff but doing this keeps it public,” Doyle said.

Legislator Art Ospelt noted that by making the budget transfer requests more frequent, there is more publicity shone on the jail overcrowding problem. “We get more bang for our buck,” he said.

Majority Leader Jack Proud said the implications are that the money requested is for current expenses and agreed that by trickling the money, it give more attention to the problem.

“We have state closing prisons and many of their parole violators are returned to the county,” he said. “This problem is not going to go away. This problem is only going to grow and grow. We need help from New York state.”

He added that state lawmakers need to take a serious look at the problem.

Legislator Doug Malone said the sheriff needs the money. “You spent money on more foolish stuff than this,” he said. “Why go back every month to do this?”

The bill has to be paid, Malone noted.

 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