In November 2015 County Legislators learned that County Administrator Mitchell Alger was resigning to take a position as Deputy County Manager in Steuben County, which is his “home” county. This created a critical vacancy in a key position in our county government. The Board of Legislators held several meetings to determine how to address this crisis. We developed a short-term response, and a long-term response. The Board asked retired County Administrator John Margeson to return and serve as “Interim County Administrator” until a permanent replacement could be hired. John graciously agreed to return for approximately six months. We also hired the Bonadio Group as consultants to assist in recruiting a new permanent County Administrator.
The recruiting process began with a review of the job description and legal duties of the County Administrator. This process resulted in some significant amendments in the local law that established and defined the duties of the Administrator position. The Board of Legislators unanimously approved amendments significantly strengthening that position. A search team, consisting of Nick Mazza of the Bonadio Group and John Margeson, then began advertising the position and reviewing applications that were received. They came up with four semi-finalists who were invited to interviews by the full Board. This diverse but highly qualified group included three individuals with prior experience as a County Administrator, one woman, and one current county officer. Initial interviews were conducted and resulted in three “finalist” invitations to participate in a follow-up interview. Before those final interviews could be conducted one candidate received another offer, and withdrew from consideration. That left us with two finalists.
The Board conducted final interviews on May 10th, 2016. Both candidates presented well, with outstanding credentials and experience. The candidates possessed different strengths and backgrounds. Either could probably have handled the position and done a good job. However, after lengthy discussion, debate and analysis the Board made a decision. I am very pleased with the Board’s search process. We proceeded in an expeditious but prudent manner. We used professional consultants and considered both local and outside talent. The decision was ultimately made based upon both experience and potential.
On May 18th the Ways & Means Committee approved the person selected during the Committee of the Whole meeting. If approved by the full Board of Legislators on May 23rd, the new County Administrator will be Tim Boyde. He has impressive credentials. He served as County Administrator of Centre County (Pennsylvania) from 2004 to 2010, and again from 2012 to 2015. He also served as County Administrator of Jefferson County (West Virginia) from 2010 to 2012. Previously he served as Executive Director of Rural Solutions, Inc., a private not-for-profit corporation formed to implement Pennsylvania’s behavioral health initiatives for five rural counties. He has been involved in administration, management, and policy issues. He has extensive background in economic development initiatives. He possesses a Bachelor of Science Degree, a Master’s Degree and multiple certifications in public management and administration. His application included impressive references from public officials, business leaders, and fellow professionals. During his interview he noted the numerous similarities between Centre County (Pa.) and Allegany County (NY). This demonstrated attention to detail, research, and excellent analytical skills. It is expected that Tim will begin his duties on June 6th.
On Friday morning, May 20th, I attended the dedication of a monument at the County Public Safety Building (Jail). The monument is dedicated to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. The ceremony was very moving. Five names appear on this monument. They include State Troopers and Sheriff’s Deputies. Sheriff Ricky Whitney reminded us that law enforcement officers place themselves in harm’s way every day to protect society. When I read the media headlines about killings and violence in many communities, it makes me appreciate our law enforcement officers. They deserve this monument. However, they deserve much more. The next time you see one of these dedicated officers, take time to thank them for their dedicated service.