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Churchill, Lorenzetti discuss finance department (video)

On this week’s edition of Weber this Week, Herald “Web Dog” Weber sat down with two Seneca County Supervisors to discuss some pressing matters at the county level. Fayette Town Supervisor Cindy Lorenzetti and Seneca Falls Supervisor Steve Churchill discussed the ongoing debate around creation of a finance department in Seneca County, shared sales tax revenue among the communities that make up the county, and of course, where things stand with the Seneca Army Depot bid process.The bid process for the Seneca Army Depot has been a hotly contested subject, with Churchill and Lorenzetti coming down on opposite sides of the debate. Lorenzetti, a member of the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency in charge of the bid process, stood in harsh opposition to the resolution, which would have allowed for the County to own the Depot site. That resolution was strongly supported by Churchill, who barbed Lorenzetti for “coming down on the wrong side of that issue.” The two are able to joke about their disagreements in the political space, but both believe they share many views — on a variety of issues. Lorenzetti gave an update on the process, pointing out that while the bidders are not being released today — she thinks that in the long-term — they should be revealed after the IDA selects winners.One issue where they do not disagree is whether a finance department should be created or not. While neither Churchill, nor Lorenzetti outright disagreed with the process — they both feel as though it has been rushed from the start. On April 12th the Board will vote on a resolution, which was approved by the government operations committee by a vote of 4-1.The resolution would create a finance department, with the deputy county manager — a position not yet created — filling the role of leader for the aforementioned department. County Manager John Sheppard is one of the driving forces behind the creation of this finance department. However, Churchill explained that even as this could be the right method for moving forward — the process has moved much too fast. “Our new County Manager thinks the sky is falling,” he said — explaining that if it were not for a workshop taking place this weekend on April 9th very few answers would be had.Churchill also asserted that the creation of a finance department could reduce the overall transparency within the organizational structure. “There would be one less set of eyes,” he explained. “That’s the purpose of the treasurer,” Churchill continued, to ensure that a second set of eyes maintains the checks-and-balances in place now.Part of the proposed plan would also reduce the treasurer’s job to a part-time position. Lorenzetti suggested that eliminating, or reducing a position like that has been tried before, and would require a referendum vote. Something she believes would not pass.Some of the other issues discussed included new leadership within the Seneca County Board of Supervisors, renewal of IDA PILOT programs, landfilling, as well as sales tax revenue sharing throughout Seneca County. Check out the video below to see the rest of the interview with Seneca County Supervisors Steve Churchill and Cindy Lorenzetti.Herald Weber’s “Weber this Week” airs Monday’s at 9:30 am live on FingerLakes1.TV.

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