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A SUNY Oneonta graduate from 2005, Joshua Beams, has been appointed as Otsego County's Administrator following the Sept. 7 Board of Representatives meeting and will begin duties on Oct. 4, according to AllOTSEGO.

Joshua Beams (Credit: LinkedIn)
Joshua Beams (Credit: LinkedIn)

Here's what the position entails:

The role of a county administrator is to act as the county's chief operating officer and chief budget officer while answering to the county board members. The position was approved near the end of 2019 and the position was planned with a start date of July 2020, but the county experienced a hiring freeze at that time to reduce expenses during the coronavirus pandemic, and filling that position had to be delayed. The board took up that goal to fill the position this past spring and interviews with potential candidates had been taking place since then.

Otsego County has 14 part-time legislators, all representing different districts in the county but there is no one at the helm of that group to manage everything. It turns out that not having some type of board administrator makes Otsego County unique in New York State.

Beams qualified for the job following his master's degree in public finance from Syracuse’s Maxwell School. Beams has been an Empire State fellow since 2014 where he conducted quantitative and qualitative research leading to the development of policies of many New Yorkers. That was a Governor-appointed position.

In addition to the hiring of a county administrator, the county board approved hiring 20 EMS staff members who will be part of Otsego County's new emergency ambulance service.

The board did raise some concerns over the county's new EMS service saying how little written information was being given on the ambulance service plan. In addition to that, there are other concerns from board members about City of Oneonta taxpayers having to shell out more in county taxes for a service they won't need since it's geared toward rural residents.

If you're wondering why the county has had to hire EMS workers to serve in the county, it's because this service used to be filled by volunteers and there are no longer enough volunteers to cover all that's needed.

For more on this story provided in partnership with AllOTSEGO, click here.

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