Full Text Of Saratoga County Board of Supervisors’ Resolution That Allowed for the Implementation of the Time and a Half Raises

Lew Benton asked that I post the full text of the resolution.


RESOLUTION 84 – 2020

Introduced by Supervisors Pemrick, Kinowski, Kusnierz, Schopf, Tollisen, Winney and Wright

AUTHORIZING EMERGENCY ACTIONS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHAIRMAN’S DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY, AND AMENDING THE 2020 COUNTY BUDGET IN RELATION THERETO

WHEREAS, the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infection associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, appears to be transmitted from person to person predominately through droplet transmission and, if spread in the population, could have significant public health consequences;

and WHEREAS, on February 1, 2020, pursuant to 10 NYCRR Section 2.1(a), Dr. Howard A. Zucker, as Commissioner of Health of the State of New York, designated COVID-19 as a communicable disease under the State Sanitary Code, which was ratified on February 6, 2020 through the adoption of emergency regulations amending 10 NYCRR Section 2.1;

and WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic;

and WHEREAS, there are several confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Saratoga County and that number is increasing;

and WHEREAS, Saratoga County has a clear governmental interest in protecting the health and safety of the residents of the County and beyond;

and WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 24 of the Executive Law of the State of New York, on March 16, 2020 the Chair of this Board of Supervisors issued Executive Order No. 2 of 2020 declaring a State of Emergency in Saratoga County for a period of thirty (30) days effective at 12:00 pm on March 16, 2020;

and WHEREAS, it is necessary and advisable that County departments seeking to procure services and purchase supplies, material and equipment needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic be authorized to forego compliance with competitive bidding and competitive offering requirements as permitted by General Municipal Law §103(4) and the Purchasing Procedures of the County of Saratoga;

and WHEREAS, the County’s Incident Command Team formed to coordinate and manage the County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is working out of the offices of Saratoga County Emergency Services, and its members are working long hours thereby necessitating that meals be brought into them at their work stations;

and WHEREAS, the meals provided to the employees serving on the County’s Incident Command Team are paid for using the County’s credit card, which credit card has a credit limit of $15,000;

and WHEREAS, as it appears that the County’s Incident Command Team will be in operation for several months, it is necessary to seek a raise in the credit limit of the County’s credit card from the local bank that issued the card to an amount not to exceed $50,000 in order that meals may be provided to members of the County’s Incident Command Team while the team is in operation;

and WHEREAS, the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors seeks to guarantee that the employees of the County of Saratoga subject to quarantine due to COVID-19 are able to do so without exhausting their accruals in order to assist in ensuring the health of the employee, the workplace, and the public;

and WHEREAS, on March 15, 2020, the County Administration issued a directive to all County departments to reduce staffing levels to approximately 50% by having non-essential employees stay at home in an effort to help contain the spread of COVID-19;

and WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No.202.4 directing local governments to allow non-essential personnel to be able to work from home or take leave without charging accruals, except for those personnel essential to the locality’s response to the COVID-19 emergency, which nonessential personnel shall total no less than 50% of the total number of employees of each local government;

and WHEREAS, it is necessary to provide for a flexible and expeditious process for determining appropriate County staffing levels and rates of compensation in response to the County’s efforts to contain and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and any current directives of the Governor affecting local governments;

and WHEREAS, Saratoga County Public Health Services is in need of additional staffing, supplies and equipment in order to respond to the ever increasing number of individuals who have tested positive for COVID19, been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID19;

and WHEREAS, it is necessary to amend the 2020 Saratoga County Budget to effect a transfer of $1,000,000 from Fund Balance to Saratoga County Public Health Services in order to allow Public Health Services to hire additional temporary staffing, procure needed supplies and equipment, and help to meet the needs of those individuals in the community subject to mandatory or precautionary quarantine;

now, therefore be it RESOLVED, that in accordance with the Purchasing Procedures of the County of Saratoga and the provisions of General Municipal Law §103(4), and in furtherance of the declaration of a state of emergency in Saratoga County pursuant to Executive Order No. 2 of 2020, this Board of Supervisors hereby waives compliance with competitive bidding and competitive offering requirements by County departments for the procurement of services and purchase of supplies, materials and equipment needed to protect and maintain the life, health and safety of Saratoga County residents;

and be it further RESOLVED, that the County Administrator is hereby authorized to seek and obtain an increase in the credit limit of the County’s credit card from $15,000 to an amount not to exceed $50,000;

and be it further RESOLVED, that the County of Saratoga shall provide paid leave for all scheduled workdays within a fourteen (14) calendar day period to all County of Saratoga employees subject to mandatory quarantine due to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Employees will not charge accruals during their time off from work for quarantine. This directive will apply to all County of Saratoga employees, regardless of civil service classification, bargaining unit, and regardless of part time or accrual status. This directive shall not apply to any employee who is already out of work due to a paid leave of absence or unpaid leave of absence;

and be it further RESOLVED, that such paid leave will commence on the day after Saratoga County Public Health Services has either ordered or determined that an employee requires mandatory quarantine. If an employee is advised during the course of his or her workday that he or she must quarantine pursuant to the order or determination of Saratoga County Public Health Services, then that employee must immediately leave the workplace and will be paid for the remaining hours left for the scheduled day of work;

and be it further RESOLVED, that “mandatory quarantine” means a person who has symptoms of COVID-19, has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or has no symptoms but has been within six (6) feet of someone who has tested positive and who has been ordered or recommended to quarantine by Saratoga County Public Health Services. It shall also mean someone who has traveled to China, Iran, Japan, South Korea or Italy and is displaying symptoms of COVID-19. This list shall be subject to change in the discretion of the Director of Saratoga County Public Health Services, based upon circumstances present in Saratoga County and/or in accordance with guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control or New York State Health Department;

and be it further RESOLVED, that this Resolution shall not supersede applicable terms sets forth in the various collective bargaining agreements for an employee placed in quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 while performing his or her duties, as the applicable terms set forth in the various collective bargaining agreements shall still apply. This Resolution shall apply to those not covered under any collective bargaining agreement or those subject to mandatory quarantine due to possible exposure while not in the performance of his or her duties for the County of Saratoga;

and be it further RESOLVED, that these extraordinary measures are due to the declared state of emergency and COVID-19 pandemic. These measures shall not to be construed against the County of Saratoga as a policy and practice for any other future occurrence;

and be it further RESOLVED, that the Chair of the Board, the Chair of the Law and Finance Committee, the Chair of the Human Resources and Insurance Committee, the County Administrator and the Director of Human Resources shall have the authority to jointly determine appropriate County employee staffing levels and rates of compensation that are consistent and in compliance with the current directives of any Executive Order issued by the Governor of the State of New York relative to local government staffing levels;

and be it further RESOLVED, that the 2020 County Budget is amended as follows:

PUBLIC HEALTH Appropriations:

Increase Acct. # A.40.409-6000 Regular Wages $150,000 Increase Acct.

#A.40.409-6930 Social Security $ 11,475

Increase Acct. #A.40.409-8200 Department Supplies $838,525 $1,000,000 Revenues:

Increase Acct. # A.0599.B Appropriated Fund Balance $1,000,000

and, be it further RESOLVED, that the emergency actions set forth in this Resolution shall remain in effect for so long as the Chairman’s declaration of a state of emergency as set forth in Executive Order No. 2 of 2020, or any renewal thereof in a subsequent Executive Order or Orders, shall remain in effect.

BUDGET IMPACT STATEMENT: The budget amendment will require an appropriation of fund balance in the amount of $1,000,000.

6 thoughts on “Full Text Of Saratoga County Board of Supervisors’ Resolution That Allowed for the Implementation of the Time and a Half Raises”

  1. The resolution does not explicitly grant a 50% pay raise for the Saratoga County workforce and administrators. It gives a committee of five people the authority to do this. It seems to be the least transparent way of granting this undeserved wage increase.

    Chris Mathiesen

    Like

  2. John,

    Chris Mathiesen is right and, I think, a reading of the entire text finally brings into focus how illicit this turns out to be.

    The resolution granted “authority” to an ad hoc committee to “… determine appropriate County employee staffing levels and rates of compensation that are consistent and in compliance with the current directives of any Executive Order issued by the Governor … relative to relative staffing levels…”

    So clearly the Board’s transferred authority to the committee is limited and must be “consistent and in compliance” with the Executive Orders issued by the Governor. NONE OF THOSE ORDERS IN ANY WAY ALLOW THE INCREASE IN RATES OF COMPENSATION. So, it seems, the committee was wholly without the authority to act as it did, at least in terms of pay.

    The original State Executive Order declaring the public emergency was made part of a previous post.

    Below is State Executive Order 202.4 that is also referenced in the Board’s resolution and which the members Board of Supervisors might have been led to believe would permit adjusting compensation. IT DOES NOT. NOT REMOTELY.

    Perhaps the Board and even some staff failed to read it so here it is.

    No. 202.4

    E X E C U T I V E O R D E R

    CONTINUING TEMPORARY SUSPENSION AND MODIFICATION OF LAWS RELATING TO THE DISASTER EMERGENCY

    WHEREAS, on March 7, 2020, I issued Executive Order Number 202, declaring a State disaster emergency for the entire State of New York;

    WHEREAS, both travel-related cases and community contact transmission of COVID-19 have been documented in New York State and are expected to be continue;

    NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 29-a of Article 2-B of the Executive Law to issue any directive during a disaster emergency necessary to cope with the disaster, I hereby issue the following directives for the period from the date of Executive Order through April 15, 2020:

    Any local government or political subdivision shall, effective March 17, 2020, allow non-essential personnel as determined by the local government, to be able to work from home or take leave without charging accruals, except for those personnel essential to the locality’s response to the COVID-19 emergency. Such non-essential personnel shall total no less than fifty-percent (50%) of the total number of employees across the entire workforce of such local government or political subdivision.

    Restrictions on reporting to work for any state worker whose service is non-essential, or not required to support the COVID-19 response, are expanded to all counties in the State of New York.

    Notwithstanding any prior directives, every school in the state of New York is hereby directed to close no later than Wednesday, March 18, 2020, for a period of two weeks, ending April 1, 2020. The state shall reassess at that time whether to extend such closure beyond this date and may continue to suspend the 180 day instructional requirement. The 180 day suspension will be adjusted to the state’s allowed closure directive. Schools that exceed the period will not be exempted from the 180-day rule. School districts shall develop a plan for alternative instructional options, distribution and availability of meals, and child care, with an emphasis on serving children of parents in the health care profession or first responders who are critical to the response effort. Such plans shall be submitted to the State Education Department and may be amended or modified by the State Education Department, in consultation with the Department of Health and Office of Children and Family Services at any time. School districts in Nassau County, Suffolk County and Westchester County and the City of New York must submit such plans for approval no later than midnight, March 17, 2020 to the State.

    Any village election to be held March 17, 2020 shall be postponed and any elected official holding such position shall remain in office until such time as a new election is held.

    G I V E N under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State in the City of Albany the sixteenth day of March in the year two thousand twenty.

    BY THE GOVERNOR

    Secretary to the Governor

    Meanwhile, while County executive staff enjoy a significant raise to simply do what they are required in times like these, the City reports a potential $17 million 2020 deficit, the State says its revenue short fall could reach $15 billion and school districts will face huge budget challenges and the County’s local governments may received significant reductions in sales tax revenues that have already been budgeted.

    Lew Benton

    Like

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