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Broome County Deputy Executive Position to Remain Vacant

Broome County will have one less Deputy Executive for the foreseeable future.
Broome County will have one less Deputy Executive for the foreseeable future.

County Executive Debbie Preston announced today that she will temporarily leave vacant one of two Deputy positions that she had in her administration.

The vacancy occurred when former Deputy Bijoy Datta resigned to become Deputy Campaign Manager of Rob Astorino's bid for New York Governor.

In the meantime, departments that used to report to Datta will be split between Social Services Commissioner Art Johnson and DPW Commissioner Dan Schofield.

Preston says the move are in response to the worsening shortfall in sales tax collections for the county.

Preliminary numbers for the second quarter of this year, show Broome taking in $880,000 less than the same period last year.

While the Deputy position costs the county about $100,000 annually when factoring in benefits, Preston wouldn't rule out raises for Johnson and Schofield.

"Because I'm not going to sit here and I'm not going to lie to you. I never have and I never will. Because, before you go on to your next question, 'Is there going to be compensation for them?' There may be. But I don't know. But, I can see at least an $80,000 savings, if not more," said Preston.

The announcement comes on the heels of a resolution submitted Monday by Broome County Legislator Jason Garnar.

The Democrat wants to create a ballot referendum so voters can choose to amend the County's charter which now allows for as many as 3 Deputies.

"We've been running without two Deputy County Executives for two months. For the foreseeable future, we'll be running with only one. So, let's do this forever. Let's at least give the voters the chance to vote on this and express whether they think we should have three or two or one," said Garnar.

Datta left the position on May 25th.
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