Thursday, June 16, 2011

An open letter from the Democratic caucus

To the editor:

Recently, several abstractors and an attorney have made their opinions public regarding the recommendation of the Oswego County purchasing director to accept the bid of New Vision to provide the text and imaging service for the Oswego County clerk’s office, a service currently provided by IQS (Info Quick Solutions), of Liverpool.

Sara Pinzer, Ryan Thorpe, Aaron Thorpe and attorney Michael Mowry, of Mexico, sent letters to the legislature in support of IQS, the current contract holder and the company involved in a breach of ethics regarding an employee of Oswego County. Pinzer, of 24-Hour Record Retriever and Abstract, states in her letter that she does not believe the legislators “understand what goes on in the clerk’s office at all.”

Perhaps the issue of what the legislators do and do not understand about the county clerk’s office should be addressed from a minority point of view. Legislators do not understand why the deputy county clerk would work for a company doing business with the county while employed by the county. Legislators do not understand how this detail slipped by the county clerk. Legislators do not understand why anyone would expect the county’s taxpayers to enter into a contract with a company that submitted the highest bid, is an admitted party to a breach of ethics and is owned by a close personal friend of the county clerk. These details do not in any way benefit Oswego County.

Legislators do understand that we represent the interests of the taxpayers of Oswego County and not the interests of a private business that hopes to gain financially while the county loses potential revenue. Legislators listened to the presentations of all the companies submitting proposals. Representatives of the county clerk’s office attended these presentations. Every company had ample time and opportunity to make their case.

It is the responsibility of the legislature to come to informed decisions that best serve the taxpayers at the best possible value. It is not wise to rush into a contract decision worth thousands of taxpayer dollars without integrity and careful consideration of all the available options. To assume that legislators cannot or will not educate themselves on this issue or any other ignores the facts and makes an unsubstantiated assumption. However, not only is it unnecessary for legislators to understand every detail of county operations to make sound fiscal and policy decisions, it is an impractical and inefficient way to govern.

We do understand the importance of the standards we deem necessary to enter into a contract with this county. Legislators answer to the people. We will not be bullied into accepting a contract that does not measure up to the standards of honesty, integrity and value that the taxpayers deserve and that we strive to uphold.

Democratic caucus

Oswego County Legislature
Michael Kunzwiler
Douglas Malone
Jacob Mulcahey
Amy Tresidder

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