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Otsego County seeking governmental improvements

The Otsego County Board of Representatives is discussing the idea of creating a new position of leadership.

Posted: Mar. 27, 2018 5:49 PM
Updated: Mar. 28, 2018 1:34 PM

The Otsego County Board of Representatives is considering one of three options to help improve the way their County government is functioning. One idea is to create a position of County Executive. That idea is being entertained, but Intra-Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Meg Kennedy believes there would need to be strong support by the board to move in that direction.

"The County Executive model goes to much more intensive work," Kennedy said. "You have to come up with at charter, you have to have a charter commission, produce the charter, put the charter to a referendum, put the position to a referendum, so you really can’t predict your outcome so well."

The second idea is to create a County Administrator position. An Administrator would serve at the pleasure of the board and would be appointed unless the board were do designate enough responsibility over to the Administrator, in which case a public referendum would be needed and the position would become an elected position.

Board Chairman David Bliss says the idea is being reviewed not only by board members, but County department heads.

"They’re going to be the ones most affected by change so their input is very valuable in to how they want to see a manager, if there is one, or an administrator, and what those duties should be and how they’re going to interact with them because they’re the ones who are going to have….they can see what the inefficiencies are today and what they think how a manager may be able to address those."

The last option is to continue with the Board of Representatives running the County, but Meg Kennedy acknowledged there’s room for improvement.

"The system that we are currently operating under is a viable system and with possibly a more concentrated effort on communication and efficiency we might be able to find a way forward using our current structure," Kennedy said.

While the board is working on one of those options, they don’t expect to see any public referendum to vote on this year.

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