Supervisors at odds over ethics commission

NORWICH – It’s a good thing Chenango County’s 23 lawmakers created an ethics commission during a meeting of the full board this month instead of leaving the task to be taken up at last Wednesday’s meeting of the Safety & Rules Committee.

There wouldn’t have been a quorum.

Board of Supervisor Chairman Richard B. Decker, R-N.Norwich, called for a motion to appoint a three-person commission before the full board on Nov. 9, in effect pre-empting Safety & Rules from the task. He did so, however, only to counter a motion made by Town of Smyrna Supervisor James Bays.

Decker said at that time he would have preferred that Safety & Rules address the issue in its regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

Chenango County government has operated without an ethics commission for several years despite New York state mandates that require one. The county is currently being audited by the state as a result. The recent confusion regarding a contract to hire a consultant who would help spur on economic development from future natural gas development has brought the matter to the forefront.

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