Multer scolds Morris over recent comments

Gwen Chamberlain The Chronicle-Express

A long-time Yates County legislator has called another elected representative out for his recent comments in letters to the editor, and a former legislator who is campaigning to be elected to the legislature again says he is disappointed in the direction of the board.

During the Oct. 13 legislature meeting, James Multer of Barrington, who represents county residents in District IV had strong words aimed at Mark Morris of District III (Milo) over a recent letter published in The Chronicle-Express.

Multer said Morris’s letter, which reiterated a letter he sent to legislators, specifically the Public Safety Committee, this summer, eroded the public trust. He called the letter “offensive and insulting” to other legislators.

Multer said everyone has ample opportunity to comment before decisions are reached by a majority, and if new information comes to light it can be brought to the legislature for discussion.

Morris’s letter primarily criticized members of the Public Safety Committee, saying they have not taken action to reduce costs in the sheriff’s department, probation, and district attorney’s office.

Multer has also written a letter to the editor in response to two letters from Morris. Multer’s letter appears on page 4.

Rob Schwarting, a former legislator who is seeking election to one of four seats representing District III urged the legislators to develop a strategic plan for the county, focus on policy instead of micro-manage departments, and establish a citizen-based budget development plan. “A disenfranchised public doesn’t see you involved in asking them what the future should look like for them, and what they are willing to pay for.” He said the county business is being directed by people who have the confidence to stand in front of the legislature and speak out. He called it an embarrassment that Yates County does not use a system that seeks input from citizens.

Other business at the October 13 Yates County Legislature meeting included:

• AIRPORT IMPROVEMENTS: The legislators agreed unanimously to award a bid for runway striping to Airfield Services LLC. at a cost of $18,500.  They also accepted a capital project agreement to replace runway lighting on runway 10/28 at a total cost of $372,020. The local cost will be $18,601; the state cost $18,601; and the federal cost is $334,818.

• VACANCIES: Legislators authorized Sheriff Ron Spike to fill a Sergeant Deputy Sheriff position that is expected to become vacant this month due to retirement. The resolution also authorizes him to fill any subsequent vacancies created through the promotion of an employee into the vacant position.

They also authorized District Attorney Valerie Gardiner to fill the position of Assistant District Attorney at an annual salary of up to $75,000 and authorized County Attorney Scott Falvey to fill the part-time Assistant County Attorney position that is currently vacant. The ADA position will be vacant Oct. 31 through a resignation.