MAYVILLE-A familiar face will take over for Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards.
On Thursday, Edwards announced Chautauqua County Attorney Stephen Abdella will serve as acting county executive Monday through Dec. 31. in addition to his current responsibilities as county attorney.
"The focus will be on assisting County Executive-elect Vince Horrigan in his transition," Abdella said. "I'm sure as we get closer and closer to Jan. 1, I'll be in frequent contact with him and meet with him."
Abdella said he will also keep Horrigan as updated as possible to ongoing business, "and then certainly keep all existing projects and initiatives moving ahead the best we can."
Projects mentioned include the Chautauqua County Land Bank's $1.5 million grant from the state attorney general's office and Dunkirk's $360,000 state grant for further study and engineering for the formation of the proposed north county water district, which could include up to nine municipalities.
"Certainly, I will be working to keep those things moving," said Abdella, adding that design for a new maintenance facility in Falconer to replace the current Department of Public Facilities building is in the planning stages as well.
"So that's another project we want to keep moving along," he said.
Pursuant to the County Charter, Abdella was designated by Edwards in 2006 to be acting county executive in his absence and was confirmed by the County Legislature at that time. No additional legislative action will be necessary.
"I have worked very closely with Steve over the years," said Edwards, who will begin his position as CEO of the Gebbie Foundation on Monday. "As I pursue my new career as executive director of the Gebbie Foundation, I know that I am leaving the people of Chautauqua County in good hands while they await the inauguration of County Executive-elect Vince Horrigan on Jan. 1."
"This is my time to really have everything in place," said Horrigan, who will take over as county executive on Jan. 1. "It's important for me to be able to use this limited time to engage our community."
Abdella was designated as the acting county executive during Andy Goodell's tenure as county executive from 1990-98.
In addition to his current term as county attorney since 2006, Abdella also served as county attorney from 1992-97.
He served as counsel to the County Legislature from 1999-2005 and again since 2008. He is general counsel to Jamestown Community College, and a member of the Jamestown law firm of Price Flowers Malin & Westerberg. Abdella was president of the County Attorneys' Association of the State of New York in 1996-97, and president of the Jamestown Bar Association in 2001-02. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and is admitted to practice in both New York and Pennsylvania.
He and his wife Ann, live in the town of Kiantone.