County approves shared-services plan

The Shared Services Panel meet to vote on Shared Services plan in Fonda shown on Tuesday. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

FONDA — The countywide Shared Services Panel met Tuesday evening at the County Annex Building to vote on the shared services plan and unanimously approved with 12 votes. The plan and can now be submitted to the state. The panel had the deadline of Sept. 15, to vote on the plan.

“At this point we’re supporting the plan, we’re supporting to move forward with the plan,” said Matthew Ossenfort, Montgomery County executive.

The countywide Shared Services Panel includes the mayor of each city or village and the supervisor of each town. The 12 representatives who voted are: Canajoharie Mayor Francis Avery, Ames Mayor Michael McMahon, Fonda Mayor Bill Peeler, Fort Plain Mayor Thomas Quackenbush, Palatine Bridge Mayor, James Post, Glen Supervisor Larry Coddington, Charleston Supervisor Bob Sullivan, St. Johnsville Supervisor Dominick Stagliano, Canajoharie Supervisor Peter Vroman, Minden Supervisor Cheryl Reese, Florida Supervisor Eric Mead and Fort Johnson Supervisor Kenneth Walter.

The countywide Shared Services Panel developed a property tax savings plan. The plan consists of 12 initiatives. According to a plan draft given by Bill Roehr, these initiatives are for the dissolution of the village of Canajoharie and consolidation into the town of Canajoharie, department consolidation of mental health and public health departments, court consolidation, western Montgomery county municipal building, law enforcement consolidation — transfer of local law enforcement services from Fort Plain and Canajoharie to the Montgomery County sheriff’s office, creation of a countywide assessment department, consolidated repair facility, creation of efficiencies through electronic records, Minden and Fort Plain joint development of salt storage facility and fuel depot, department of social services to work and expanded sharing of department of public works services.

There was a roll call vote done for the countywide shared service plan with some comments made by the panel as to why they voted in favor of the shared service plan.

“Yes I support it, as presented. I believe that we have an opportunity, especially in the western end of Montgomery County, specifically Canajoharie and the Beech-Nut site, to move forward,” said Thomas Quackenbush, mayor of village of Fort Plain. “I think we would remiss if we didn’t at least look at it and continue on that path.”

“I will vote yes for this document, but that will indicate their acceptance with the understanding this agreement is non-binding,” said Francis E. Avery, mayor of Canajoharie.

“I vote yes and I would like to add that the board of Palintine Bridge looked over the proposal,” said James Post, mayor of Palintine Bridge. “They have voted on different parts of it. Yes or no, but as the concept, the board is behind the proposal.”

“Also yes as presented,” said Eric Mead, supervisor for town of Florida.

All other members of the County-Wide Shared Services Panel also voted yes, making it an unanimous vote.

The panel will have no later than Oct. 15 to present the approved plan to the public.

“I know it’s been a long process, it’s been confusing, it’s been more strenuous for some than others, but I really appreciate everybody working together on this,” Ossenfort said.

By Patricia Older

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