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Government Operations Committee

Cayuga County Clerk Sue Dwyer, left, asks the county Legislature's Government Operations Committee to approve a change to help alleviate turnover at her office on Tuesday night.

AUBURN — A Cayuga County legislative committee Monday approved two staffing changes at the Cayuga County Clerk's Office in an effort to reduce a high rate of turnover in some positions.

The Legislature's Government Operations Committee approved a request from County Clerk Sue Dwyer to abolish two part-time senior clerk positions and replace them with one full-time senior clerk.

Dwyer said that in recent years her office has had 11 people come and go from the senior clerk position in recent years, creating a significant drain on the rest of the staff.

Training someone to handle all the different duties a senior clerk is responsible for can take upward of a year, Dwyer said, with four or five months passing before they can be trained enough to handle one type of task unsupervised.

After investing all that time in training, the part-time clerks frequently leave for other full-time jobs where they can receive benefits. According to the resolution, not only does the turnover make it difficult to attract qualified candidates, but it creates a drain on existing staff.

"We have gone through so many part-time clerks, and it takes at least a year to train people because we do so many different things that it really causes low morale," Dwyer said. "Everybody's exhausted from training people, and then they leave to get a full-time job."

The approved resolution, which still most go to the full Legislature, would create the senior clerk position at a probationary salary of $34,718, with included benefits, from an existing Clerk's Office salary account.

The position will be filled in accordance with Civil Service Rules, according to the resolution.

Additionally, the committee approved the replacement of a full-time clerk position with a full-time senior clerk position. According to Dwyer, a Civil Services review found that the duties of a longtime clerk had shifted to the point that their position needed to be reclassified as a senior clerk.

Included longevity, the salary for the new position would be $36,408, according to the resolution.

The next meeting of the full Legislature is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Cayuga County Office Building.

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Staff writer Ryan Franklin can be reached at (315) 282-2252 or ryan.franklin@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @RyanNYFranklin

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County government reporter