2018-01-10 / Front Page

Armed guards will be posted at some Delaware Co. facilities

County board authorizes hiring
By Eddie Donoghue

Delaware County will recognize itself as a New York State Climate Change Community, and will contract with private security firms to provide armed guards in some county facilities this year. Those actions and more were among the items covered last Wednesday when all 19 Delaware County Supervisors met for their annual reorganizational meeting.

Bovina Supervisor, Tine Mole, was re-elected as the board’s Chairman for the second consecutive year after Clerk of the Board, Christa Schafer, opened the annual meeting. Schafer congratulated Mole, saying, “You’ve done an awesome job in the last year.”

After thanking her colleagues, department heads and employees for the opportunity to serve, Mole noted how much she had learned and detailed the challenges faced last year. The challenges included 43 inches of snow in the early part of 2017 and a relocation of the Office for the Aging on only three months’ notice—saying of the move, “That was absolutely one of the best decisions we have done this year.” Additionally, she talked about having nearly completed the remainder of the emergency services towers and how the county stayed within the tax cap “for the first time, I believe.”

Looking ahead

Mole then focused her attention on 2018, talking about some of the issues that will be facing the board in the near future, including a new highway facility as well as a mental health facility being atop the list. Appointments of other leadership posts followed, with Mark Tuthill being re-appointed as Vice Chairman, Christa Schafer re-appointed as Clerk of the Board, Amy Merklen as County Attorney, and Arthur Merrill as County Budget Officer.

Additional appointments included members of the Agriculture Farmland Protection Board, Delaware County Industrial Development Agency, Delaware County Planning Board, Health Statistics Advisory Board, the Southern Tier East Regional Development Strategy Board, and the Tourism Advisory Board.

Mole announced that standing committee assignments for board members would remain as they were at the close of 2017 until further notice. With the Public Works Committee especially, deep into the process of establishing a new multi-million facility, the retention of all committee members who have been working on that project assures continuity in the process.

With most of the re-organizational work taken care of, the rest of the meeting moved swiftly, with 13 resolutions passed in just over 10 minutes. Among them was the resolution that will allow contracted security guards to be armed in County buildings.

“We felt this was a necessity in the world we live in today, and we did this with the help of several department heads in a very short period of time,” Mole said of the decision. Among the resolutions was one naming three official county newspapers for the year, including the Catskill Mountain News, the Mountain Eagle and The Reporter.

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