At a special meeting of the Board of Supervisors, on Tuesday, April 26th, two Resolutions, and one other piece of business were handled at the short meeting.
First, the Board resolved to choose a permanent Chairman of the Board, due to the resignation from that position by Palmyra Town Supervisor, Ken Miller last week. A unanimous vote of all Supervisors in attendance went to the Deputy Supervisor Phil Eygnor from Huron to be Chairman.
After the vote, Phil took over running the meeting and brought to the floor the resolution authorizing the County to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with bargaining units to pay bi-weekly Stipends to all full and part-time employers - with the exception of Duly Elected Officials.
After first making the assumption that the Resolution failed, with 2 weighted NO Votes, and three abstentions, the vote was re-examined by County Attorney Dan Conner, and it was noted that resolution only required a simple majority of the weighed votes to pass. The Resolution was then declared passed. $1,900,000.00 will come from the County’s Contingent Fund General and moved to Contractual Expenses for Payroll for the stipends.
Voting NO were Ontario Supervisor Frank Robusto, and Walworth Supervisor Mike Donalty. Supervisors Groat, Bender and Kolczynski abstained due to having relatives who work for the county. Abstentions count as NO votes.
With a Simple Major of votes needed = It passed, 699-490
County Administrator Rick House, who was very surprised and disappointed when he thought the Resolution had failed, later said: “Be advised that at this morning’s BOS meeting there was a miscommunication regarding the announcement of the vote by Supervisors pertaining to the “stipend resolution.” The vote to pass required a simple majority not a two-thirds vote. The simple majority was obtained, so therefore the resolution DID Pass”.
With the original suggestion that the Resolution was defeated, Wayne County Sheriff Rob Milby found the vote disappointing, as there were many county employees who were counting on the adjustment to assist their families with the recent spike in consumer pricing. “I am hopeful that in the future, as our employees come to the table to renew their contracts, that they are able to realize the relief that they deserve and that Wayne County is able to remain competitive with other counties with its workforce.”
Milby later stated that he was relieved and pleased for his employees and for the boost to their morale with the passing of the stipend vote.
In voting NO, Walworth Supervisor Mike Donalty stated that he was listening to his constituents in Walworth who did not favor the resolution. “I see County employees receiving money for 8 months, but that is not solving the long term solution of retaining jobs,” explained Donalty.
Frank Robusto, Ontario Town Supervisor, felt that the real motivation for giving the across-the-board stipends was to shore up salaries for the Nursing Home employees and convince them to stay. “I think there are many other ways to accomplish this by investing in bargaining that would help them handle inflation and not just give them a one and done solution.”
In other business before the board, Ken Miller was replaced on the Western NY Intercounty Association Board with newly elected Chairman Phil Eygnor of Huron.