Board of Supervisors re-adds position to budget

Administrative Assitant for Agriculture Economic Development put back in tentative budget

In the morning session's public hearing of the Madison County Board of Supervisors meeting, only Rebecca Jablonski stepped forward.

During the Nov. 17 hearing on the proposed 2010 budget, Jablonski, Agriculture Economic Development Specialist, requested an administrative assistant position be put back in the budget.

Steve Durfee, a farmer in Chittenango, and Paul O'Mara, a member of the Advisory Committee, also attended to back Jablonski's request for the approximately $19,000 part-time position. A benefits package would be supplied by the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Durfee and O'Mara supported Jablonski in saying that her time could be better spent elsewhere.

"I don't think any one would question her success. Her time could be spent doing better things," Durfee said. "It would be a wise decision to consider a staff person."

O'Mara added that Jablonski has completely amazed him but her list for one person is too long.

"We have had many meetings to discuss the lack of staff," he said. "It's almost a no brainer. I wish I could get more of her (time) and the only way is to get an administrative assistant."

Jablonski brought with her a list of accomplishments that includes $329,481 received in grant funding with $237,000 more waiting, organizing two Annual Buy Local Weeks and helping to establish the New York Beef Farmers' Cooperative.

Lenox supervisor Rocco DiVeronica questioned whether or not someone to assist in the grant process could be found.

"I think now I can do grants efficiently," Jablonski replied, adding that the knowledge needed for the grants was extensive.

James Goldstein, Lebanon supervisor, pointed out that Jablonski had had student help in the past and asked about utilizing them.

"I've worked with eight students. Whereas they've been helpful, they require a lot of supervision. I don't think they can do the administrative work needed done," Jablonski said.

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