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Reforms for 2003

By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO — January 10, 2003 – Sullivan County Legislature Chair Leni Binder has promised many changes in the year 2003 for the County Government.
“Last year was one of heavy activity for this group, and we experienced much change in our membership,” Binder stated during Wednesday’s special Legislature meeting. “With each change, different areas of strength have emerged, and I am pleased to use this meeting to have this county avail itself of new areas of expertise within the Legislature.
“This will also be an opportunity to begin some of the re-structuring we have been speaking about.”
Binder announced Committee changes including:
• District 1 Legislator Chris Cunningham will chair the new Personnel Committee. That committee oversees all employees, legal issues, job description and education.
• The General Services chairmanship will move from Cunningham to District 6 Legislator Jodi Goodman. Her former committee, Consumer Affairs and Information Technologies will merge with General Services.
• District 2 Legislator Kathleen LaBuda will chair Public Safety. Her former committee, Financial Management, will be chaired by District 3 Legislator Greg Goldstein.
• Goldstein’s former committee, Health and Family Services, will be chaired by District 4 Legislator and former Public Safety Chair Don Trotta.
“With this new setup in committees, I believe we are able to face the changes 2003 will bring,” said Binder. “2002 was a wake-up call to all counties. How we fared will be reviewed by the county manager, Dan Briggs, in his year-end summary.
“He will document our benchmarks, mark the milestones, and we will go forth to accomplish our goals,” Binder continued. “That report is as close to a State of the County as we are going to have formally.”
Binder also touched upon other issues in the county. She called for a meeting with the county government and the administration and trustees of Sullivan County Community College to take a more united approach to the college and community affairs. Binder plans to do the same thing with all of the school districts as well.
“We know that working together gives us strength we do not have as individuals,” Binder said. “We will work with the towns and villages and continue to strive for shared cooperative services.
“We welcome economic development that is consistent with our local planning and zoning,” she added. “Our comprehensive planning will be a major goal for this year and it will harmonize with the local town and village plans – the goal is smart and careful growth patterns that are acted upon, not reacted to.”
The Legislature did act upon one resolution. A public hearing was set for a local law to establish the Personnel Committee and eliminate Consumer Affairs. That hearing will take place on Thursday, January 23, at 1:50 p.m. in the Legislative Hearing Room.
In February, some of the committees will be reorganized. Here’s an unofficial look at the plans:
All committee meetings are held on the first and second Thursday of the month. The first Thursday will see Planning and Community Development at 9 a.m., Financial Management at 10 a.m., Public Works at 11 a.m., Public Safety at 1 p.m., and Executive at 1:30 p.m. The second Thursday will see Health and Family Services at 9 a.m., Real Property at 10 a.m., Personnel at 11 a.m., General Services at 1 p.m., and Veterans at 1:30 p.m. (bi-monthly).

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