Tag Archives: Phil Vasho

Backus ready for challenges as Oswego County clerk

by Carol Thompson

When Michael C. Backus takes office Jan. 1, he has his work cut out for him.

Backus, 28, of Mexico, won the race for Oswego County clerk, an office that has been plagued with controversy.

“My approach as clerk will be gradual and measured,” he said.  “I look forward to meeting with the employees in the days ahead and hearing their ideas on the office as it currently exists. Then we’ll begin implementing some new practices and programs that we’ve outlined throughout the campaign.”

Backus did not fully address the question of whether he will call for an audit of the office nor how he intends to rebuild the office that legislators have referred to as “dismantled.”

Oswego County Legislature Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said Wednesday that while he remains hopeful Backus will work toward betterment of the office, he will continue to keep a close watch.

“Mr. Backus has an opportunity to go in and make the proper changes in that office, but to sit there and say he needs to evaluate…the evaluation has been done, the damage has been done and someone needs to go in and correct that damage,” Kunzwiler said.

“We’re going to hold him to that level that he will correct what’s wrong in that office.”

Phil Vasho, a former legislator who challenged Backus, said he, too, will keep up to date on the clerk’s office. Vasho had the support of several employees, whom he had met with prior to the election to hear their concerns.

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

Valley Viewpoints: Dedicated candidate

by Sandra J Blanchard, Hannibal

It is close to election time again and we have some very important issues with in Oswego County Clerk’s Office.

For more than 20 years, this office was run by George Williams. George past away recently and I am sure he will be missed by family and friends.

The Oswego County Clerk’s Office is in a big mess and could end up being very costly to the taxpayers. The public taxpayer needs to wake up. How long are we going to let this go on?

Twenty years of Republican control in this office has shown just how dangerous it is for the taxpayer. There should be term limits for any office. Our future depends on it.

Phil Vasho has been nominated by the Democratic party to fill the position of county clerk. Phil has years of experience serving as a legislator in Oswego County, giving him the understanding of how this office works.

During his time as a legislator, he served on the records committee and later on the consumer affairs committee. He worked on Oswego County budgets. He was also a business agent for a construction company. He works well with people and is a straight shooter.

Phil is a local man, a taxpayer, and also a family man. Phil understands the issues that are going on within the clerk’s office. taxpayers. He was never afraid to cross lines to do what was needed to see that the taxpayers’ rights came first and I believe that attitude will continue.

Judge McCarthy to rule on county clerk case tomorrow

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County Supreme County Judge James McCarthy will render a decision in an Article 78 proceeding held to determine if the Oswego County clerk position will be on the ballot in the Nov. 6 election. Attorneys for all side argued the case this afternoon at the county courthouse in Oswego.

Former legislator James McMahon had filed the Article 78, alleging that the successor to the late county clerk George Williams should be appointed by the governor though 2013.

The defendants include the Democrat, Republican, Working Families and Independence parties, candidates Michael Backus and Phil Vasho as well as county election commissioners Donald Wart and Richard Atkins.

Attorneys for the plaintiff argued that New York State County Law section 400 should apply in filling a vacancy. The law states that a vacancy occurring three months prior to an election should be a governor’s appointment.

Attorneys for the defendants argued that state Election Law, which contradicts county law, should prevail and an election should be held.

McCarthy  quizzed the lawyer for the plaintiff extensively. At issue was the placement of a comma in the county law.  McCarthy also noted that if the governor wanted to appoint someone to the position, he would have done so by now.

In attendance at the hearing were Assemblyman Will Barclay, clerk candidate Michael Backus, his father Mark Backus, and Oswego County Conservative Party Chairman Ron Greenleaf.

McCarthy said he will have his decision available at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning.

County Clerk election legality challenged

by Carol Thompson

The legality of having the office of Oswego County Clerk on the ballot in the November election is being challenged in Oswego County Supreme Court.
Lawyers for Bond, Schoeneck and King, PLLC, filed a petition Friday afternoon on behalf of James McMahon, asking the court to restrain from printing and placing the candidates’ names on the officials ballots and voting machines to be used in the Nov. 6 election.

Named as defendants in the Article 78 action are the Oswego County Board of Elections; Michael Backus, both personally and as chairman of the Oswego County Republican Committee; Phillip Vasho; the Oswego County Conservative Party and chairman Ronald Greenleaf; the Oswego County Democrat Committee and chairman Mike Kunzwiler.

The Board of Elections added the position to the ballot for the Nov. 3 election, following the Sept. 3 death of George Williams.

The three political parties selected candidates at their respective committee meetings and filed a certificate of nomination for each candidate.

The Democrat Committee selected Vasho and Backus was selected as the candidate for both the Republican and Conservative committees.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy  of Wednesday’s edition of The Valley News