County Needs Compliance/Privacy Officer

MAYVILLE – In a conversation familiar for the County Legislature’s Administrative Services Committee, members heard once again at Monday night’s meeting about the need for a county compliance/privacy officer.

While the position was discussed in February and tabled at the March committee meeting, Christine Schuyler, director of Health and Human Services and Vince Horrigan, county executive, approached the committee to explain the need for the position.

The proposed salary range for a new compliance/privacy officer is $43,131-$66,053 and requires that the individual maintain policies and procedures for the general operation of the county’s compliance program and its related activities to prevent illegal conduct.

“This is to assure that the county is in line with all state, federal and local rules, regulations and laws,” Schuyler said. “We have to be in compliance with what the attorney general tells us to do and make sure we’re billing properly. The fines will be steep if the attorney general comes in and finds we’re not.”

Schuyler said since she started working for the county in 2008, she and her staff have done everything they can to stay within regulations.

“This looks like to me New York state law,” Horrigan said. “Are we sort of complying on the side? Maybe you could say that, but the intent is here that we are not complying, and there was an assessment done to verify it.”

The committee unanimously approved the resolution, but it must receive full approval from the legislature in order to move forward.

In other matters, Jim Caflisch, director of real property tax, Larry Barmore, county clerk, and Norm Green of the Board of Elections informed the committee about upcoming budget projections in each department.

Caflisch said tax foreclosure notices increased by 66 percent from 1,200 parcels to 2,000 last year, which has resulted in higher postage and mailing costs.

Furthermore, he said he would budget for building maintenance and the higher postage and mailing costs with an additional $10,000 on top of $5,000 already in place for the upcoming 2015 budget.

“I can only do a budget based on past history and this year was quite an increase from previous years,” Caflisch said. “We’ve gotten through it okay but we’re hoping this number is going to drop. Right now, my budget is a little over 2 percent so I’m trying to hold it as tight as I can.”

He said revenues dropped slightly as a result of tax certificates and a lower amount of applications for mortgages.

In terms of the clerk’s office, Barmore said revenues would be down about $50,000.

“Right now, it’s for the same reason Mr. Caflisch gave,” he said. “Mortgages are down, and we receive quite a bit for recording mortgages. That’s pretty much where all of our revenue comes from.”

For the Board of Elections, Green said new items to impact the 2015 budget included the possibility of new software programs. Otherwise, only mandated services would be included in the 2015 budget.

In other matters, Dennis Brooks, insurance administrator, gave an update on workers compensation claims.

Since 2013, there have been almost 100 less reported events, while 132 out of 228 became claims.

Thirty percent became indemnity claims, while 70 percent became medical-only claims. This resulted in fewer high-dollar claims.

He said he has been bringing cases up to date with a new structure, and provided two examples where more than $100,000 has been or will be recovered.

Lastly, it was announced that Mark Deas, financial analyst to the legislature, has resigned, effective Sept. 12. However, Deas will use vacation days in advance of the resignation date.

Pending the vacancy, Kathy Tampio, clerk to the legislature, will perform Deas’s duties at an annual salary rate of $28,880, which includes her current salary of $17,993.

The full County Legislature will meet on Aug. 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the legislative chambers of the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.