Document:New York Saratoga County Press Release 9 April 2020 Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Refuses to Meet
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Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Refuses to Meet In wake of emergency pay raise scandal County Admin and BOS Chair cancel meeting Ballston Spa— For Immediate Release — In early March the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors established an emergency committee. This committee meets in secret, has no name and no oversight. The committee of 5 was established to take emergency action during the Covid-19 Pandemic during the period of time between regularly scheduled meetings of the board of supervisors. This committee immediately used its power to establish 50% pay raises, at a cost of $325,000/week, for 380 essential employees, including salaried management personnel. After massive public pressure, and a revolt of the 10 Supervisors whom never intended for this power to be used under current conditions, the pay raise was rolled back for elected officials, management personnel and field employees, and left in place for emergency “command center” employees. The Committee of 5 includes BOS Chair Preston Allen of the Town of Day, County Administrator Spencer Hellwig, Director of HR Marcy McNamara, Supervisor Pemerick of Greenfield and Supervisor Wood of the Town of Saratoga. It’s worth noting that Hellwig and McNamara originally received the raise along with various elected officials, DMV employees and other clerical and HR staff who continued working through the Governor’s PAUSE order. -Emergency Meeting Refused- In late March a group of Supervisors representing 72% of the County’s weighted vote repeatedly demanded an emergency meeting to resolve the pay raise issue. Chairman Allen blocked that effort leaving Sheriff’s deputies, Nurses, Social Services Workers and other front-line field employees in limbo while call center employees continued received 50% pay raises. -Regular Meeting Canceled- Despite assertion by Preston Allen and Spencer Hellwig that the pay raise scandal would be addressed, the regular April 21 meeting has been quietly removed from the County BOS calendar with no notification or justification to Supervisors. Allen and Hellwig have not made a statement or justified the cancellation. “Allen and Hellwig are using the crisis to hold democracy hostage;” said Rob Arrigo Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Saratoga County. “Municipalities all over the state have found ways to hold regularly scheduled meetings, including Saratoga Springs which has held virtual city council meetings. The County Leadership needs to find a way to immediately return to regular order;” said Arrigo. -Going Forward- The Committee of 5 cannot be stopped without a meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Town of Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett is leading a group representing 72% of the weighted vote in the County to reign in this reckless activity and proactively adjust the budget to reflect the precipitous drop in sales tax revenue, as well as the probability that the 2020 Saratoga Flat Track Meet will be canceled or severely curtailed. The Libertarian County Committee joins these fiscally responsible Supervisors in calling for an immediate emergency meeting of the board and a return to regular order.