Share this article

print logo

LEGISLATURE ADOPTS A SMOKE-FREE POLICY

Allegany County offices, other workplaces and vehicles go smoke-free Jan. 1.

The County Legislature Monday adopted a policy prohibiting all indoor smoking on its property. The Public Works Department was directed to select outdoor smoking areas.

Public Health Director Gary W. Ogden called the measure an "environmental tobacco" control measure, not a direct effort to keep employees from smoking. Studies have shown second-hand smoke contributes to heart and lung diseases, he noted.

The policy was adopted by a vote of 8 to 5, with opposition from Legislators Susan Myers, R-Friendship; Pat Regan, R-Willing; Edgar Sherman, R-Little Genesee; Edmund Burdick, R-Black Creek; and James Graffrath, R-Andover.

Myers said she opposed the resolution because of "questions that need to be answered" about enforcement.

Sherry Walton, representing the county's public employee union, said her members are not opposed to the regulation but expect that enforcement, like any new policy, will be subject to negotiation.

Also Monday, the Legislature set its own salary for the first time.

County voters last month approved changing the per-diem pay system, which was used for decades, to a flat salary. Legislators, along with three dozen other county officers, each will be paid $7,500 in 2000.

Voting no were Burdick, who had prepared, then withdrawn, a motion two weeks ago to make the pay rate $8,500, and Legislator Roy Lucas, R-Wellsville.

In other business Monday:

Jerry Garmong of Friendship was named director of the Employment and Training Center in Belmont.

Garmong, longtime deputy head of the department, which coordinates services among the state Labor Department, social services and literacy programs as well as colleges and other providers of assistance, succeeds Carl Peterson, who is retiring.

Garmong will be paid $44,300 a year.

Steven Presutti, another longtime employee, was named to head the Real Property Tax Service office. He has worked for county Treasurer James F. Mulholland for several years and also is a Belmont village and Amity town justice.

He succeeds Robert Wright, who resigned.

Presutti will be paid $35,000 annually.

Mulholland has been acting tax office director, in addition to serving as treasurer.

Chairman John W. Walchli Jr. wielded the gavel for the last time.

He has been chairman since 1994 and, by vote of the Republican Legislature caucus -- all the members are Republican -- in November, will be succeeded in January by Sherman.

The Legislature's organization meeting was scheduled for Monday.

There are no comments - be the first to comment