OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego County Legislature got its house in order for 2013, and it looks quite similar to 2012.
Fred Beardsley of Hastings was re-elected as the chairman of the Oswego County Legislature.
Fellow Republican Kevin Gardner, of Mexico, was elected vice chairman. Taking over the role the late Art Ospelt held last year.
Both votes went according to party lines.
The Democrat nominations were Amy Tresidder, of Oswego, for chair, and Jacob Mulcahey, of Oswego, as vice chair.
“Amy has the propensity to be able to be a true leader in this legislature,” said Mike Kunzwiler in his nomination. “She has the respect of her peers.”
Wendy Falls was unanimously re-elected at clerk of the legislature.
The Republicans named Jim Oldenburg, of Scriba, as majority leader, the post previously held by Jack Proud, of Mexico.
Milferd Potter, of Richland, is the majority whip for 2013.
Things stayed the same on the other side of the aisle with Kunzwiler, of Oswego, and Doug Malone, of Oswego Town, retaining the positions of minority leader and minority whip, respectively.
The Democrats sought to amend the resolution naming the official county newspaper(s) from three down to two.
Kunzwiler pointed out that there should be just two, one for each party.
“And, again we have three. What is more disheartening to me is we’re coming into a fiscal year where we have to have restraints,” he said, adding that the county is spending money it doesn’t have to spend.
“I’d like to amend this resolution to take away Oswego County Weeklies,” Malone said. “Me and you had a really good discussion, Mr. Chairman, back Wednesday before November’s legislature week. We had an early budget; get the tax bills out. I got my tax bills yesterday, and it’s way up. Enough is enough. We need to start here, today, day one – start saving money wherever we can. There’s no reason we need three newspapers. We need to show by example. Cut out some of this stuff.”
There has been talk about “a 10 or 12 or 17 percent increase in taxes,” he added.
“People need help now and this is just a little bit. We need to show, by example, leadership today,” he said.
The motion to amend failed, with the vote going along party lines.
Legislator Malone asked the clerk if she knew the ballpark figure of the cost to advertise for the recent reapportionment.
“Is it $10,000?” he asked.
“It’s not that much. It’s a couple thousand,” she replied.
Kunzwiler suggested the county look at the law itself. When it was adopted, newspapers were the primary source of information, now the internet has changed all that, he noted.
“It’s time to take a look at this law and see if we can change it,” he said. “We’ve got to start somewhere. Some of these laws we deal with everyday, just don’t fit any more.”
“We have a large geographic area in this county and these three papers hit most of those areas,” Legislator Morris Sorbello noted. “It is important that our public is informed. That’s the most important issue; and, yes, it does cost a little more.”
Many of the county’s senior citizens do not use computers to get their news, he added.
The resolution was passed, along party lines.
Beardsley said he is looking forward to not only continuing but increasing the cooperation among the legislators.
The budget will be his number one priority
“We are facing some pretty tough times,” he said regarding the tax increase figures Malone mentioned earlier the meeting. “But should we completely fall on our face, we still wouldn’t be looking at a third of what the numbers (he) mentioned.”