Supervisors ditch their own pay hike

The meeting boiled over on two occasions. The first occurred when Johnsburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed said that layoffs may be warranted, which led to a debate between Goodspeed and CSEA Labor Relations Specialist Jon Premo, a spokesman for the union which represents much of the county labor force.

"We are at a breaking point," Goodspeed said. "Some departments that do not provide necessary public services are going to have to look at salary reductions or elimination of positions."

Premo countered that other options were available and that the livelihoods of county employees should not be sacrificed.

The supervisors requested a "show of hands" vote from the department heads regarding a potential reduction of their personal pay increases. After the use of the word "layoff," approximately two-thirds raised their hands to sacrifice their own pay to save others' jobs.

"I will go back and take a hard look at my budget," said Warren County Tourism Director Catherine Johnson. "I am more than willing to accept less than 3.5 percent increase."

The second contentious moment occurred when Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec said that the data he had seen suggested that the county sheriff's department budget was "out of control."

This prompted a strong response from Warren County Sheriff Bud York.

"Dan took a shot at me publicly, so I will take a shot back," York said. "The 2009 budget shows only a .07 percent increase from last year - The numbers he (Stec) is looking at are incorrect."

Further moves suggested by the committee were to halt the use of county vehicles for private use and the abolition of paid lunch breaks.

The Gaslight Village project, the Upper Hudson Railway project and the cost of operation of the fish hatchery were also addressed with some supervisors expressing a desire to salvage county money by halting the municipal involvement.

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