Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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December 6th, 2012

Will Fanslau’s Contract Be Renewed?

County manager David Fanslau’s contract with Sullivan County is due to expire on December 31st and there has been little public discussion if his contract is going to be renewed or not.

Fanslau according to is earning $145,633 up from $134,911 in 2009 to manage Sullivan County.

Fanslau often came under fire during the previous legislature and critics were dismayed when the new administration did not fire him under their “vote for change” platform that swept them into office. The reason Fanslau remained on the job was twofold, it would have cost the county a year’s salary in severance pay if he were let go, and he needed to be given a chance under their rein.

Fanslau indeed appears to be a changed person since the new legislature took over. He is being given direction and the morale of employees seems to be a lot better.

The County Manager works for the legislature and acts under their guidance and desires. Because this legislature is still on the learning curve, perhaps sometimes roles appear to have been reversed.

A lot of people feel Fanslau has been a very effective county manager, is a good numbers man, and should not be the scapegoat for our financial crises. Throughout Hurricane Sandy he was on top of everything and continually kept everyone up to date.

There are some legislators both Democrat and Republican who allege Fanslau continually holds back giving them important information, while others claim he is only responding to the wishes of the legislature leadership.

I am told there is a need of a super majority vote of six legislators to renew Fanslau’s contract. So far there are not enough votes. For all intent and purposes, Fanslau will stay in his position if the legislature takes no action. The issue of severance pay remains unclear if he is let go without a contract.

The subject on the table for our legislators should be far more reaching than whether or not to renew Fanslau’s contract. With our everlasting economic downturns, the time is now for this legislature to discuss the necessity of an elected County Executive.

I have been advocating for years that we need someone who will report to us, create more communication, accountability, and will actually lead far more differently than a manager or a chairman of a legislature could. A County Executive will also provide a much stronger voice for us in Albany.

Without a doubt, Sullivan County lacks direction. We are missing that one person who could actually get County, Town and Village governments to work together and come up with a master plan to stimulate our economy.

We need only to look at Ulster, Orange, and Rockland counties to see how successful a County Executive form of government could be for us. Perhaps David Fanslau is that person.

I understand getting the legislature to put the county executive issue up for a referendum is wishful thinking, but openly discussing Fanslau’s contract should not be. It is time the legislature brings his contract to the forefront for some honest conversation.

2 comments to Will Fanslau’s Contract Be Renewed?

  • Dan

    We don,t need to add another layer of goverment we need to abolish the one we have go back to the board of supervisers or dissolve county goverment as a whole.the system in this county is broken from top to bottom

  • Spencer

    The hackneyed cliche is “intents and purposes” NOT “intensive purposes.”