Safety Committee endorses work of forensic social worker

HUDSON–At this month’s meeting of the Public Safety Committee of the Board of Supervisors, District Attorney Paul Czajka successfully persuaded the committee set the salary for Forensic Social Worker Anne M. Quinn at the full amount budgeted instead of increasing it gradually to the full amount over three years, as is common with union contracts.

Citing an oversight on his part when he hired Ms. Quinn in April at an annual salary of $69,979, Mr. Czajka said her full salary was the result of a budget-neutral reallocation of funds within his office. The district attorney praised Ms. Quinn for her handling of recent case of severe child abuse as justification for not implementing the usual reduced salary steps.

Other resolutions proposed and adopted at the May 16 meeting included approval for Robert Linville and Ryan Cooke to attend a conference in Albany on improved defense of veterans, at a cost of $50. The committee’s recommendations will now will go to the Finance Committee.

In other matters before the committee:

The Sheriff’s Office proposed filling a vacant budgeted position of a full-time correction officer at an annual salary of $35,286, as well as adjusting the department’s budget by $6,400 for a child passenger safety grant. The office also reported that the out-of-county inmate revenue figure for April 2013 is $72,750, versus $36,300 for April 2012. These figures represent funds collected from other counties to house inmates at the Columbia County Jail.

Director of Emergency Management Bill Black commented that the federal sequester, mandating across-the-board cuts in government spending, had reduced funding for reporting on hazardous chemicals. He stressed the importance of maintaining a database on the materials for first responders, including fire companies and hazmat teams, to foster quick access when an emergency occurs. Committee Chairman Roy Brown (R-Germantown) proposed a verbal resolution for Emergency Management to draft a request for continued funding, and then for the supervisors to sign and submit it to state and national legislators.

Probation Department Director Dan Kibler reported that the department is monitoring 137 airlock devices intended to prevent drunk drivers from operating a motor vehicle. He mentioned successful cases where an individual who “blew hot” could not start the vehicle, and that information was passed along to the courts and to the District Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Kibler further noted that each individual must pay for the installation and monthly service fee for the device.

Fire Coordinator John Howe reported that the interviews for deputy fire coordinator have been completed and requested the appointment of Peter J. Harvey to the position at an annual salary of $2,500. In addition, he will appoint two state fire instructors.




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