Tag Archives: Legislator Linda Lockwood

Legislators pull resolution to tax cell phones

 by Carol Thompson

A resolution that would allow Oswego County government to add a surcharge to cellular telephones was pulled without explanation when the full legislature met Thursday.

The resolution, proposed by Legislator Linda Lockwood, would allow the county to impose a surcharge of 30 cents per month for the county’s E-911 budget.

The county currently imposes a surcharge on landline telephones, however, there has been a decrease in landline use since the prevalence of cellular telephones.  A surcharge on cell phones would bring those users equal to those with landlines, the resolution notes.

All but nine counties in the state have a surcharge, according to the resolution. Before the county could impose the tax, it would need authorization in the form of legislation to be passed by the state Senate and Assembly.

The surcharge would be used for improvements to the county’s E-911 system.  The legislature approved the expenditure of $836,009 for upgrades. The project will be paid through a state grant.

During the conclusion of the meeting, Legislator Doug Malone asked why the resolution had been pulled.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Legislator seek chairman seat

by Carol Thompson

Who will lead the Oswego County Legislature next year will be decided in the upcoming weeks. The leadership will deal with one of the most difficult budget years in almost a decade.

Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley faces a challenge from Legislator Linda Lockwood for the top position. Each candidate was asked a series of questions.

When asked what the first priority will be, Beardsley said the office of chairman does not allow time for a single priority.

“There tends to be a number of issues at any given time,” said Beardsley. “The issues at the forefront right now are the asbestos abatement at DSS, the negotiations with Entergy, contract negotiations with our unions, reapportionment and a day-to-day assessment of our financial situation.”

Lockwood responded, “First priority, pick committees, work with department heads and start working on strategies for next years budget.”

There has been discussion in regard to closing the county’s transfer stations. When asked if this measure would be supported, Lockwood said, “The solid waste department was to be self sustaining. The way the economy is, it is difficult to maintain these transfer stations. The subject will be given much thought and I am hoping an equitable solution can be made.”

Beardsley responded, “Due to continuing mandate increases our county, like many others, faces financial difficulties in 2014 and beyond. We must asses our business model in its entirety on a regular basis. All aspects, including but not limited to solid waste, must be reviewed to insure they operate in the best interest of the taxpayer.”

The minority legislators have long complained that they have been left out of important decision making and Beardsley has been working with the Democrats to ensure they are apprised of all issues.

He said if re-elected, he will continue to work with the Democrats.

“In the first paragraph of my State of the County Address I stated ‘a chairman must preside fairly over the discussions on this floor, and who treats all elected representatives equitably, listening to your concerns and ideas, and fostering cooperation to reach goals that are in the best interest of our residents, taxpayers, and businesses. I pledge to you that is the type of Chairman I will be’,” he said. “I believe I have kept that pledge in 2012 and intend to keep it if re-elected as chairman.”

Lockwood said she has no problem working with the minority. “I have worked on committees with many of the minority members. I have always respected their opinions. I am sure there will be many opportunities for us to work together.”

The chairman is elected by the legislature, however, Beardsley and Lockwood were asked what they would say to the taxpayers if they had a vote.

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

Linda Lockwood seeks legislature chairman seat

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County Legislator Linda Lockwood has sent a letter to her colleagues, expressing her interest in becoming the legislature chairman next year.

In a letter dated Nov. 20, Lockwood wrote, “I have served as a legislator for the past five years. Prior to joining you on the  legislature, I served as a town councilor for 12 years. I have seen the ups and downs of government and experienced many different leadership techniques. It is these experiences that have led me to write to you today. With this letter I respectfully express to you my intent to run for Chair of the Oswego County Legislature.”

Current chairman Fred Beardsley said he is running as well. He said Lockwood’s challenge is a part of the system that takes place to select leadership.

The 20-member Republican majority selects the chairman, generally at a GOP meeting held in mid-December. In past years, the five member minority caucus has had little influence over the chairmanship.  This year, however, could be different.

The Republican caucus has been said to be divided this year, with not all legislators rank and file with Beardsley, although it appears he holds a slim majority. That could result in the Democrat legislators choosing the next chairman.

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