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November 15, 2012

Otsego County could cut 10 jobs in 2013 budget

(Continued)

John Imperato Sr., president of the local unit of the Civil Service Employees Association, said while he has not reviewed the draft budget plan, he has strong concerns about the apparent readiness to cut jobs, including the staffer at the Office for Aging.

“The county is down to the bone” when it comes to staffing, he said. “I feel bad for the department heads.”

Imperato said an unwillingness by county lawmakers to consider even a modest tax increase will likely contribute to additional deterioration of the county’s infrastructure, such as roads. He added that it would behoove the county to put contingency plans in place to fund needed capital projects that could stimulate the region’s economy.

“I think the fact they have been so frugal is backfiring now,” he said.

At the same time, Imperato, who works in the 911 emergency services call center, said he was pleased that the board is apparently not going to cut jobs at the Sheriff’s Department. He suggested that do so would have jeopardized public safety at a time when public demand for law enforcement services is growing.

One lingering issue facing county lawmakers is whether to extend the staff cuts to the office of county Clerk Kathy Sinnott-Gardner. She has indicated that any job cuts would be highly detrimental to the office and hurt its ability to produce revenue for the county. The clerk’s office, which has had jobs taken in previous budgets, operates the Department of Motor Vehicles offices in Oneonta and Cooperstown.

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