May 6, 2010

Notes Of Interest

A few interesting notes of interest: the county legislature's decision to raise the salary of the next county manager to up to $120,000 from the current salary of $105,000 is absolutely the right move. In fact, if anything, the number is still too low.

People tend to forget that the county has a budget that tops $300 million. As what essentially amounts to the CEO, the county manager position, if filled with the right person, is extremely valuable to the county. People always crow about running government more like a business - no qualified CEO would consider managing a $300 million company for $105k.

Of course, the key word is "qualified". Let's hope the current crop of legislators do a better job of recruiting the next county manager than the Democrats did in 2003 when for some godawful reason they chose Greg Lewis. And by the way, good luck to Lewis, who we understand is a finalist for the county manager position in Cortland County. The sooner this schmuck gets the hell out of Dodge, the better we'll all be.

Secondly, it was good to see some common sense prevail in the debate over "no smoking" signs in county parks. This was a bad idea from the get go. The decision to scrap this ill-conceived plan, despite pressure from anti-tobacco groups, was absolutely the right thing to do.

The bottom line is that smoking is still legal, and it will always be legal - the government relies on the tax revenue. But if there are those who believe that it should be outlawed, take your argument to the FDA. Rinkydink ideas like signs in parks that serve no real purpose do nothing but increase costs for taxpayers and potentially set the scene for conflict.

After all, if I was in a county park enjoying a smooth Newport and someone came up to me and said, "Can't you read the sign, no smoking!", they'd get a big fat "fuck off" from me.

Lastly, the series of reforms implemented by new county treasurer Kyle Andrews in response to a scathing report of the department by the state comptroller is a strong first step by the rookie treasurer.

While we still contend that comptroller Tom DiNapoli's motivation for tearing apart former treasurer Dave Broderick was purely political and in time Broderick will be vindicated, the steps taken by Andrews will go a long way in addressing the perception of a loosely run operation.

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