Few kind words for government changes

"We've been sharing personnel and equipment [with the Department of Public Works] for years. This is nothing new," he said.

He mentioned plowing, mowing and street paving as areas where the two departments share resources.

The committee's report does not make specific consolidation recommendations or identify a dollar figure when it comes to savings, though it references a 2006 report that said $300,000 to $450,000 of annual savings could be realized through Highway/DPW consolidations. Clarkson said it's clear voters favor consolidation, and said it's tough to identify specific savings because it depends on how the changes would be implemented.

"The savings that are to occur here, if they are to occur, are up to the board here or to a future board," he said. "We're just not in a position to dictate them."

Comptroller Suzanne Traylor said that people shouldn't think appointed offices are just political bargaining chips. She applied for her (appointed) job through a job posting and went through a normal job interview that was not political at all, she said.

"Anybody out there could have applied for this job...the board looked at my credentials," she said.

Former Supervisor Jack Cunningham, who formed the original 20/20 Committee during his time in office, said he's surprised this is the first thing the implementation committee is addressing out of a long list of objectives.

"I think this conversation is way ahead of where the town should be at this point," he said.

He also called for more details on cost savings, saying without concrete consolidations that "this becomes a solution without a problem."

Though the election/appointment issue was the hot topic at Wednesday's meeting, the report also suggests extending the term of the town supervisor from two years to four and reassessing the staff appointment process itself.

Comment was more varied on the term extension, with some saying a longer term makes sense so the supervisor can tackle big issues. Others said they like having the option to change three members of the five-person Town Board every two years.

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment