Top County Positions To Be Filled By Year’s End

Two county officials are on their way out as County Executive Vince Horrigan and search committees hope to have their replacements by year’s end.

A hunt is underway to find the next airports and parks manager after Horrigan told The Post-Journal on Friday that Bill Tucker is leaving at the end of the week for a new job. Tucker was appointed Oct. 13, 2014, after he served as the executive director of the Southwestern New York Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Officials are also searching to fill the finance director position after Susan Marsh announced her January retirement in October. Marsh was appointed in April 2012 after spending more than 20 years in public accounting and eight years in industry.

With Tucker on his way out, applications are being reviewed by George Spanos, county public facilities director. Horrigan said they’re in the initial stages of the candidate search.

While he’d like to have the position filled by year’s end, Horrigan said he doesn’t have a specific date in mind. Horrigan commended Tucker for his work from the time United Airlines eliminated service from the Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport to Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport to the coming of Southern Airways Express with service to Pittsburgh International Airport.

“It’s been a difficult time and he’s been able to see us through this,” Horrigan said. “He’s helped stabilize our position with our airports and actually reduced the county’s share of expenses of the county airports by well over $150,000. He’s done a great job managing the airports with capital investments and reducing the local share.”

Horrigan said he’s close to making his final decision on the next person to serve as finance director after searching for candidates in and out of the county. A selection committee examined candidates and made recommendations to the county executive.

“She’s seen us through the challenges of the sale of the County Home. She’s seen us through a period of time where we had really a lot of uncertainty going forward in the financial situation,” Horrigan said of Marsh. “She’s put us in a good position where we’ve been able to reduce property taxes and at the same time have us in a position where we have a strong five-year financial plan of stability here in Chautauqua County.”

The county executive’s appointment for finance director will be subject to approval from the County Legislature. Selecting a new airports and parks manager doesn’t warrant legislative action.

A vacant executive director’s position for the Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation was filled last month after the board of directors decided to stay in-house. Gina Paradis, who’s been administrative director since 2012, is moving into the position previously occupied by Mark Geise, who resigned to take a job as economic development manager for Monroe County.

Jim Caflisch, land bank board chair, said he’s happy with the work and the ability Paradis has showed over the last few years. Caflisch said they’re confident she’ll do a good job.

“She’s familiar with what Mark did and the process of grant funding and all processes we use to acquire properties and dispose of them,” he said. “That’s why we’re going in that direction.”


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