JOHNSTOWN - Administration of the Fulton County Youth Bureau will be consolidated into the county Office for Aging starting next year.
The Board of Supervisors made that move Tuesday, which shifts the duties of part-time bureau Director Charis Gray to the OFA, located on North William Street.
Four supervisors - Johnstown 3rd Ward Supervisor Jack Callery, Johnstown 1st Ward Supervisor Richard Handy, Johnstown 4th Ward Supervisor William Waldron and Gloversville 5th Ward Supervisor Michael Ponticello - voted against the change.
"Whose going to advocate for youth in the community?" Ponticello asked.
But many supervisors felt consolidation into an existing county department was not only a good financial move, but an efficient one.
"It was pretty obvious we can cut the administration cost and have better administration," Broadalbin Supervisor Joseph DiGiacomo said.
Gloversville 1st Ward Supervisor Marie Born added, "To me, it's a win-win situation. We're not abolishing the youth bureau. In fact, I think it will be enhanced."
The Youth Bureau for 2012 received more than $70,000 in combined state Youth Development and Delinquency Program aid, state Special Delinquency Prevention Program aid, and funding for local municipal recreation programs. Aid pays for programs at several agencies in the county, such as Catholic Charities, Family Counseling Center, Community Maternity Services and the Fulton County YMCA's Teen Center.
County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Gray's current salary is $15,630. About 50 percent of that is paid for by state aid. About $11,000 comes from the county tax levy to pay for her salary.
Gray has said she will have no comment on this issue.
The resolution passed by the board at the County Office Building states that OFA Director Andrea Fettinger will receive an annual $4,000 stipend for additional youth bureau responsibilities. She will become the "custodian" of all bureau files and will during 2013 give a presentation to the Board of Supervisors on cost savings.
The resolution adds Gray and Fettinger will "collaborate to accomplish a smooth transition" by Jan. 1.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.