OXFORD – Recent government cut backs have placed a full-time position at the Department of Veterans Affairs on the chopping block, and state and local officials have said the cut could equal lost revenue for Chenango County.
A proposed state cut would eliminate the full-time secretarial position at the office, cutting the one full-time employee in the Oxford office and placing the brunt of the labor on a counselor who spends approximately 15 hours a week there.
Former Veterans Affairs Counselor Terry Bresina said in previous years, Chenango County had a full-time counselor and a full-time secretary, but in 2004, changes were made that required the counselor to spend three days a week in Binghamton and two days a week in Oxford.
“Here, we got to the point that we had enough business with the local veterans to tie up [the counselor’s] time two days a week. The full-time secretary scheduled appointment, took care of files, did the leg work of the office and collected information and documents for pension claims for the Veterans’ Home residents,” Bresina said. “The part time guy doesn’t have time to do that and cover the office for the local vets.”
Bresina said the situation may become even more difficult for one part-time person to handle as the number of veterans coming back from combat zones increases. “There’s more demand now than there was three or four years ago,” Bresina said...