Only Supervisor Jack Ranieri of the City of Oneonta voted against accepting the report and he later explained his vote by saying, “I feel that a public hearing should have been held by the committee before offering the report.”
The solid “no” from the supervisors climaxes an off-and-on debate of three years that began with agitation by the League of Women Voters and was first recognized by the supervisors in December of 1960 when a committee was appointed to check the need for mental health service.
The committee, headed by Burrill W. House of Richfield, and including Earl Saunders of Plainfield and Leon Eckert of Burlington, said it had evaluated questionnaires sent to professional men and consulted public agencies before arriving at its decision.
The report states that some of the clergymen were opposed to creation of another agency with an increased cost to the taxpayers.
The report said: “Although the committee is extending its sympathies to the people suffering from any form of mental problem, at the same time the committee report sympathies are extended to those who would be faced with the financial burden of supporting any such local program, namely the taxpayers.”