COOPERSTOWN _ The standoff between management at the Otsego County Treasurer's Office and several members of the Board of Representatives continued at Wednesday's board meeting.
On Tuesday, Treasurer Myrna Thayne objected to two resolutions passed by the county's Administration Committee.
One resolution directed her to include much more detail in the 2008 budget than is in the current budget. This change was one of many recommended by Venesky & Co., a financial consultant the board retained last month for $43,500 to help prepare the upcoming budget.
The other resolution would have empowered county board Chairman Donald Lindberg, R-Worcester, to form a committee to investigate Thayne's spending of public money on private estates she has administered.
Both resolutions were on Wednesday's agenda but were withdrawn before they could be voted on. That didn't prevent discussion of the proposals, however.
At the start of the meeting, under privilege of the floor, a time when the public is invited to address the board, Deputy Treasurer Joseph Charity said that many of Venesky's suggestions were not helpful.
``Mr. Venesky and staff came in and made recommendations, and the recommendations were more like the dictates of what we do, where we do it and how we do it,'' Charity said.
The office has decided not to take Vanesky's recommendation to break out more items in the budget, he said.
``To change this information would have a lot of impacts and take a lot of time, and we don't have a lot of time,'' Charity said.
The tentative budget must be filed by Nov. 15.
``Mr. Venesky suggested using new codes, and we decided not to do that, either,'' Charity said.
The Treasurer's Office has asked other counties in central New York to send copies of their budgets to Cooperstown and ``they are about the same as we already have,'' he said.
Charity said the Treasurer's Office approach to the 2008 budget was ``validated when we met at the Manor Monday.''
Venesky has criticized the 2007 budget for lumping too many items under ``other expenses.'' Charity said the Treasurer's Office was able to move about $1 million from this catch-all account in Otsego Manor's proposed budget to various accounts without creating the specific new accounts that Venesky has called for.
However, he noted, as Venesky had a day earlier, that Monday's meeting was illegal because it had not been adequately advertised.
Lindberg asked Charity to end his presentation, but Charity kept speaking, noting he hadn't spoken at Tuesday's meeting. Essentially, he said, the Treasurer's Office is going to do the budget its way for the good of the county.
``We've stuck to our guns,'' said Charity and warned board members not to pursue Venesky's ``multitude of meaningless suggestions in hopes we will make a mistake. Be careful what you ask for; you might get it.''
Later in the meeting, when Feldstein gave the Administration Committee's report, he referred to Charity's speech as ``hyperbole and insults.'' Feldstein noted that Schoharie County's budget incorporates the kind of detail that Venesky has asked Otsego to produce.
``We want this year's budget to be lawful and user-friendly, something we can be proud of,'' he said.
Rep. Cathy Rothenberger, D-Oneonta, suggested the Adminstration Committee begin investigating ``changing the position of treasurer from elected to appointed.''
Feldstein said Thayne's practice of using public money to administer private estates will be discussed at the board's Oct. 17 meeting.
``Are we accusing her of wrong-doing?'' asked Rep. James Powers, R-Butternuts. In view of the state of relations between the board and treasurer, perhaps the matter should be dropped, he suggested.
Rep. Stephen Fournier, R-Milford, said the board ``has no choice'' because pertinent law states that the board must monitor all expenditures of county money.
At this point, Thayne began to speak and Lindberg ruled her out of order.
Rep. Greg Relic, R-Unadilla, noted that Thayne had spent the money after being authorized to do so by the Otsego County Surrogate's Court.
Fournier said the board has a right to see vouchers and ``know how the tax dollars were spent'' no matter who ordered the expenditure.
Rep. Kevin Hodne, D-Oneonta, said, ``We've got to solve this and move on. It's an embarrassment. I don't see why it's so hard for the Treasurer's Office to show us vouchers.''
Lindberg then asked the board to move on to a different topic.
Later, outside the meeting, Thayne said the board is misinterpreting the law and doesn't realize it has no business making this inquiry.