Officials: County could perform city service free

Taxpayers in the city of Amsterdam are spending money on a service Montgomery County’s Personnel Dep
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Taxpayers in the city of Amsterdam are spending money on a service Montgomery County’s Personnel Department could handle for free, officials said Monday.

Amsterdam Fifth Ward Supervisor Karl Baia said the city employs a three-member Civil Service Commission to administer employment exams to civil service employees in the city and the Greater Amsterdam School District.

Meanwhile, Montgomery County’s Personnel Department does the same work for about 3,000 employees.

The idea of consolidating these services was discussed last week during a meeting of the shared services committee.

Consolidating the service into the county office could yield a savings of about $6,800 for the city and $6,000 for the school district, Baia said.

Amsterdam Third Ward Alderwoman Kim Brumley said the idea is worth exploring.

Brumley said she believes the city has a hard time getting members on the commission.

“It’s totally volunteer, and they need to know civil service law, which is very complicated, from what I understand,” Brumley said.

Brumley said she hoped to bring the topic to the city’s Common Council, which is working on a budget for the upcoming year.

The idea isn’t new.

Montgomery County Personnel Officer Richard Baia said he’s been suggesting his office perform the work for 17 years.

Baia said his office handles exams, including announcing and posting positions and tests and hosting testing in Fonda for civil service employees in the county.

These include county civil service workers and those in all 10 towns and 10 villages in Montgomery County.

They also include civil service employees at the Fonda-Fultonville, Fort Plain, St. Johnsville and Canajoharie school districts, Fulton-Montgomery Community College and the Montgomery-Otsego Schoharie Solid Waste Management Authority.

Baia said he’d consider his office doing the work for Amsterdam relatively simple.

“Instead of [the city] having three commissioners and a part-time secretary, my staff would handle that,” Baia said. “It’s a duplication,” he said.

Karl Baia, the supervisor, said the savings wouldn’t be huge, but they would represent a positive step towards sharing services in Montgomery County.

“I think it’s important that we do little things; when we do little things like this, over a period of time it adds up to be big things,” Baia said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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