Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Legislator irked over clerk memos

Three memos — all issued by Acting County Clerk Georgiana Mansfield — has the ire of legislators, who according to Mansfield, are not allowed to speak to employees or allowed to go behind counters.

The memos, issued Thursday, instructs employees not to speak to legislators, the press, or the public.

“Any contact with representatives of the public, media or legislators concerning the functioning of the Oswego County Clerk’s office or any topic concerning this office not related to the filing, recording or searching of documents will be handled solely by the acting county clerk or the deputy clerk,” the memo states.

Oswego County Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said he was livid to think that two employees would make an attempt to dictate to other employees who they can and cannot speak with. He added that he was further angered with the attempt by Mansfield and Deputy Clerk of Operations Matthew Bacon to attempt to stifle the legislators.

“We, as legislators, are responsible for the county building and what goes on inside them,” said Kunzwiler. “These two employees cannot dictate to the legislature. What are they trying to hide?”
A second memo instructs employees to restrict access to specific parts of the clerk’s office to anyone any other than employees.

Both memos state that permission must be granted by either Bacon or Mansfield before stepping outside of the boundaries of the memos.

“This is why the governor needs to appoint someone to come in for the remainder of the year,” Kunzwiler said.

Mansfield was named acting clerk upon the death of George Williams. Kunzwiler has been pushing for Governor Andrew Cuomo to appoint someone through the end of the year due to the “continual controversy and mismanagement” of the office.

A third memo instructs two employees to essentially train a new employee. Kunzwiler said that he will investigate why the employees are being asked to show a new employee how to do work when Bacon’s position was created in part for the purpose of training. POST

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