by Carol Thompson
Former Oswego County Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley was named county treasurer at the April 11 meeting.
For more than 90 minutes, legislators debated the appointment with questions in regard to Beardsley’s education and qualifications repeatedly asked.
During the public comment session, two residents spoke against the appointment. As the floor debate ensued, those supporting Beardsley sat quietly.
Beardsley resigned his position as legislator sometime prior to the meeting, according to legislature Vice Chairman Kevin Gardner, who ran the meeting. Beardsley was said to not be in attendance.
Legislator James Oldenburg read the resolution to appoint Beardsley, stating that Beardsley was well qualified.
That led to a series of questions as to how Beardsley is well qualified.
Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler asked legislators to picture themselves as responsible for the hiring at a Fortune 500 company.
“You’re here to here to protect the people of that company, which for us are the taxpayers,” he said, adding that one candidate graduated cum laude with a degree in the field, referring to the county’s chief accountant Mark See, who agreed to do the job in addition to his accountant duties for five hours pay per week.
“Can anyone answer if Mr. Beardsley ever filed bankruptcy,” Kunzwiler asked. No one answered.
“Not one person can answer me in this room, and you said, ‘well qualified’,” he said.
Kunzwiler asked if anyone knew Beardsley’s education. Democrats said they had traced Beardsley’s background and found he had attended eleventh grade at Cicero High School, but could find no record of his graduation.
Gardner answered that he wasn’t going to produce the interview process.
Legislator Amy Tresidder said she has received many calls from her constituents opposed to appointment and she would be voting on their behalf.