Supervisor Elizabeth C. Moran (D -- Cazenovia) was the lone dissenting voice in the vote to hire legislative consulting firm Park Strategies out of New York City. Park Strategies principal former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato and five of his consultants attended the Aug. 12 regular meeting of the Madison County Board of Supervisors to provide background of the firm.
After the presentation, the firm's engagement on behalf of the county was passed 18 to one, with Moran citing cost, timing and partisanship as her reasons for voting against the resolution. After the meeting, Moran said she voted against the expenditure because the move is poorly timed, costly and her research showed the firm to be largely Republican-leaning conservatives.
"I am concerned we won't have enough time between now and the end of the year to evaluate what they can do for us," Moran said.
In addition, the county is conducting an extensive search of the northeast to fill the newly created position of county administrator. Once that position is filled, Acting County Administrator Paul Miller will move into the position of research and legislative affairs. She said it would be prudent to see what those changes will bring before spending more money during a time of transition in the county.
"I don't think we can come up with what our needs are between now and the end of the year," Moran said. "So there's no harm in waiting."
She said she felt the county should wait and put its house in order.
"I am also reluctant to go with a firm that is so partisan," Moran said.
The possibility of hiring a legislative consultant was discussed among members of the Government Operations and Finance, Ways and Means committees late last month. Those bodies, consisting of the same members, voted to move the resolution forward to the full board.