Legislature set to reverse labor management hire decision

The Montgomery County Legislature could potentially reverse an earlier vote and hire a director of labor-management relations.

The Legislature’s Budget and Finance Committee, comprised of all nine county legislators, voted Tuesday to send a resolution creating the position to the full board for its meeting June 24. The resolution must be sent to the full board because Tuesday’s session was a committee meeting, not a regular meeting of the Legislature.

According to the resolution, the salary for the position will be $29,166.67 for the remainder of the year. District 9 Legislator Alex Kuchis asked County Treasurer Shawn Bowerman if that figure represented a pro-rated salary for half the year, meaning the annual salary for the position would be in the neighborhood of $60,000. Bowerman said Kuchis was correct.

Two legislators who voted against the resolution earlier this year said they changed their minds after speaking with County Executive Matthew Ossenfort.

“I met with the county executive, and he explained his thoughts behind this position,” District 5 Legislator Terry Bieniek said. “He made me aware of issues in certain departments, and he hopes [creating] this position will clear these up.”

District 1 Legislator Martin Kelly also voted in favor of the position after voting no earlier this year.

“The [county] executive has made the legislature aware that this will provide a cost saving,” Kelly said.

Both Bieniek and Kelly said they would monitor the situation carefully to make sure the position benefits the county.

John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.