By Joleene DesRosiers Moody, Contributing Writer
PULASKI, NY – After a 45 minute heated debate over which data imaging services company would be used in the county clerk’s office, Oswego County Legislators voted 15-8-2 Thursday in favor of using Info Quick Solutions, Inc. of Liverpool. Two legislators were absent.
It’s the third time in 18 months lawmakers debated over securing this particular company.
The first discussion in February of 2011, sparked controversy after lawmakers learned Georgiana Mansfield, first deputy county clerk, was doing outside work for the imaging company.
She was charged and fined (basically the amount she was paid by the company for the part-time work) by the county Ethics Board. The probe found County Clerk George Williams not guilty of any wrongdoing.
Legislator Jake Mulcahey (D) presented price options between IQS and another interested vendor, Property Info Corp., to the lawmakers.
He pointed out that PIC submitted a proposal at just more than $8,000 with sound references.
“I am sharing with you the facts. Choosing PIC is the sensible thing to do,” he said. “It is our job to make this a fair and ethical process.”
Minority Leader Michael Kunzwiler (D) was also very vocal on his decision to vote against the hiring of IQS.
“Let’s stop playing games here,” he told fellow lawmakers. “You were given the numbers. You saw the numbers. These are the facts. But today, you put up a company that cost us over $300 thousand dollars more. What kind of message are we sending? You’ve got a choice here today. It’s not about Republican verses Democrat. It’s about doing the right thing.”
Majority Leader John Proud (R) voted in favor of securing the company, pointing out the number of recommendations secured by the firm throughout New York and the Eastern United States.
“What we’re here to decide is which company provides the best processing and the best service,” Proud said. “Then we work to determine who is most cost effective after. In other words, we want to get more bang for our buck.”
Legislature Shawn Doyle (R) also spoke vehemently about not renewing the contract with IQS.
Doyle also recently faced scrutiny after fellow lawmakers charged him with functioning both as a legislator and Town of Richland historian using a county office space. The ethics board exonerated him of the charge in April.
When Doyle began to regurgitate what he went through, Chairman of the Legislature Fred Beardsley attempted to cut him off, which led to a three-way argument between Beardsley, Doyle and Kunzwiler.
“Let him speak,” Kunzwiler told Beardsley.
“This is about the vendor,” Beardsley said, “not about what happened with –“
“I have the floor,” Doyle interrupted. “I have the floor.”
“Let him speak,” Kunzwiler said again as Beardsley again attempted to stop Doyle.
The legislature meeting was held at the Barclay Courthouse in the village of Pulaski.
Five companies submitted proposals.
The lowest came from ACS at just more than $5,000, with some conditions. The highest bidder, IMR, came in at $13,995. IQS, the current contract holder, submitted its proposal for $13,543.