Seneca County Manager John Sheppard called it ‘bad precedent’, referring to an agreement between New York Life and Seneca County, which allowed the for-profit, private entity to come into the Seneca County Office Building located at 1 DiPronio Drive, and have access to their roster.
Fayette Town Supervisor Cindy Lorenzetti is baffled at how the issue raised so much concern at last Tuesday’s standing committee meetings.
It was subject to intense debate, as a resolution was on the table to be considered, which would have prevent the County Manager from sending a letter severing the agreement between the two parties.
“There’s so many more pressing items in our County and how that got to be as big as it was is ridiculous,” Lorenzetti explained of the notion that New York Life having access to county employees would be an issue.
“It’s been done for 15 years. I guess the County Manager felt compelled and that it wasn’t appropriate to have such an agreement in place with New York Life,” she added.
The board was seeking a memorandum of understanding, and Lorenzetti noted that she had no idea how it fell apart so quickly. The Personnel Committee voted nearly-unanimously against it — killing an extension.
Seneca Falls Town Supervisor Greg Lazzaro, who chairs the committee was the only individual to vote for the agreement. The no vote came as a surprise, and resulted in the abrupt ending of that committee meeting.
“I think it’s unfortunate for the employees. I also think it’s unfortunate that the full-board wasn’t able to vote on it,” she said of the way things fell apart that night.
“It might be able to go through another committee,” noted Lorenzetti — who said that it could possibly go through the Government Operations Committee, which she chairs.
Last week in a written statement to FingerLakes1.com, Sheppard explained his thought process in seeing the agreement between New York Life and Seneca County come to an end.
“In my opinion [it’s] wholly inappropriate. Capital assets, employee compensation, office equipment, administration effort, etc. are all funded through our constituent’s tax levy to provide services to those paying the bill,” he explained.
Sheppard continued, “The levy should not be used to facilitate private, for profit solicitations to a captive municipal roster on taxpayer funded time using taxpayer funded assets.”
He also noted that any company is welcomed to participate in an annual benefits fair put on by the County.
Listen to Supervisor Lorenzetti’s thoughts on the agreement, and what it means for Seneca County employees in the video window above.