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Supervisors note lack of volunteers

January 15, 2013
By BILL PITCHER , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - Fulton County supervisors on Monday appointed and reappointed dozens of residents to county committees and councils in 2013, but they also took notice of dozens of seats left vacant - part of an ongoing challenge of finding volunteers to fill roles at the county level.

"There's 30 vacancies throughout that board. I'm sure there are some people that would like to give back a little to the community and do something," Broadalbin Supervisor Joseph DiGiacomo said, after noting four seats remain open on the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

Fifteen of those 30 vacancies are on the Fulton County Youth Bureau Advisory Board, leaving it with more vacancies than members.

Article Photos

Fulton County Administrative Officer Jon Stead talks about the absence of volunteers for some county committees and boards at the Board of Supervisors meeting in Johnstown on Monday.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Pitcher

"The state has been doing so many cutbacks on funding, the number of programs the Youth Bureau can operate is so small," said county Administrative Officer Jon Stead. "I think that's part of the reason it's hard to get people interested."

Stead also said some members lose interest if their board isn't active in "interesting decision making." The county also copes with older members moving away or stepping aside after serving multiple terms. But the absence of pay for most positions doesn't deter members, Stead said.

"I've never had a bunch of indications that people were leaving these advisory boards because they weren't getting reimbursed or paid," he said.

Other vacancies in 2013 include seven seats on the Office for the Aging Advisory Board, two seats on the Traffic Safety Board, two alternates to the Emergency Medical Services Council and one seat on the Fulton County Planning Board.

Among the appointments approved unanimously in resolutions by supervisors on Monday:

All of Monday's appointments were unanimously approved except Robert Roth, who was reappointed as Fulton County's representative to the board of Capital District Off-Track Betting.

Potter, who preceded him on the OTB board, cast the lone dissenting vote, noting an overall decline in revenues from OTB - from more than $115,000 in 2010, to a projected $44,000 this year.

"It's a free revenue source to the county, and with revenue being tough to come by, I hate to see it declining," Potter said.



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