County Supervisors organize for 2014

By Cheryl Petersen
Christa Schafer, clerk of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors opened the board’s organizational meeting on January 8 for elections.
Incumbent Board Chairman and Town of Harpersfield Supervisor Jim Eisel was the only candidate nominated for the chairman’s position. Nominator Marty Donnelly, Supervisor of the Town of Andes, said, “Mr. Eisel is efficient, successful, has an open-door policy and is respected by many people both inside and outside the county.” Nominations were closed, vote was taken and Eisel won with only one dissenting vote from Middletown Supervisor Marge Miller.

Vice chair
Bovina Supervisor Tina Molé was the only nominee for vice chair. A repeat of the chair vote, nominations were closed and the vice chair was elected with only one opposing vote coming from Middletown Supervisor, Marge Miller.
The first order of year 2014 business executed by re-elect Chairman of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors, Jim Eisel, was to tell three demonstrators that, “There is no demonstrating in a board room,” said Eisel. “Remove your signs or I’ll call an authority in to remove you.”
The motive to demonstrate against the Motorcycle Safety Track in the Town of Harpersfield, caused one of the demonstrators to only lower the sign yet leave the message in clear sight. “Turn it around so I don’t have to look at it,” said Eisel from the chairman’s seat. Words on the sign were turned away from observant eyes. Eisel said, “Thank you.”
Moving forward with county business affecting its population of 45,000 people, Eisel said, “Year 2014 will be a challenging year. The government indicates an upturn in the economy, but we must be vigilant on how we spend tax dollars. Costs must be contained.” New supervisors were then welcomed and encouraged to ask questions.

Social Services overview
Bill Moon, commissioner of Department of Social Services, distributed a 35-page document over viewing the fiscal, legal, and operational functions of the department. “The document is intended to keep the communication between supervisors and the department clear,” said Moon. “As we focus on how the department is run, we can aim for more efficiency.”
Hancock Supervisor Sam Rowe, asked Moon, “With the cold snap, is the department seeing an increase in requests for fuel assistance?”
“Yes,” answered Moon. “The emergency fund was opened one week ago and fuel is being delivered to eligible individuals and families.”

Restrictions considered
Franklin Supervisor elect Jeff Taggart spoke saying, “I know many taxpayers who keep their thermostat between 60 and 65 degrees and strive to be energy efficient.” Taggart then asked, “Can the Department of Social Services require the people receiving fuel assistance to also keep their thermostats lower?”
Moon answered, “Individual rights need to be respected. However, when the county is responsible for housing, we have acted on good faith to ensure that those who are receiving fuel assistance do, for example, keep their windows closed.”
Further board re-appointments include Walton Supervisor Bruce Dolph as county budget director, Porter Kirkwood as county attorney and Christa Schafer as clerk of the board of supervisors.