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Finance Dept. still being debated in Seneca County

A number of issues were on the agenda Tuesday night, but as usual a couple issues in particular stole the show. On Tuesday, the Seneca County Board of Supervisors meeting kicked off with two public hearings, which ended as quickly as they began. One presentation took place updating the board on the 318 sewer project.Immediately following the two public hearings, Seneca County Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Jeff Shipley gave a presentation on the overhauled Seneca County travel guide. Shipley called the overhaul, which was overseen by Destination Marketing Manager Rick Newman, one of the most-significant updates to any travel guide he has ever experienced.The sole petitioner of the night was Diane Potter, of Rochester, who said that “the fight has just begun” to protect the wildlife at the Seneca Army Depot, which is moving through a bid selection process currently. “The backlash that will come if these animals are destroyed,” Potter pleaded. Referring to the damage that would be done if the white deer at the Seneca Army Depot are killed off after the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency makes a decision about the future of the site.Currently, they are weighing bids for the Seneca Army Depot. Those close to the bid process believe that a decision is getting closer. However, no public date has yet been set on an announcement for those accepted bids.The public also had the opportunity to let the supervisors know how they felt about the creation of a finance department. No one spoke.Supervisors Cindy Lorenzetti voiced her concern about the period of time County Manager John Sheppard said that would be devoted to advertising the Finance Director’s job. The set period that Sheppard suggested would have been two weeks — but Lorenzetti felt that 30 days would have been a more fitting amount of time.Another debate that broke out during the meeting pertained to the future compensation of the next Seneca County Treasurer. The resolution, which was put forward at the meeting was struck down by a weighted vote of 437-313. That resolution would have set the treasurer’s salary at $43,000. Multiple members of the board disagreed with that figure — citing that it should be significantly lower, or closer to the originally discussed $30,000.One question that was asked, but not particularly answered addressed what would happen if voters struck down the referendum vote scheduled for this November. While the board moved forward stitching together details of the future finance department, and new responsibilities of the treasurer — a few supervisors asked what would happen structurally if the vote failed in November to modify the responsibilities of the treasurer.If the referendum vote fails — the treasurer will oversee the entire financial operation, as that individual currently does — with the added structure of the finance department beneath that next elected treasurer.

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