County Executive-elect Joel A. Giambra, who remains at home recuperating from his Dec. 13 cancer surgery, announced Monday that a longtime City Hall aide, Lawrence D. Jasinski, is his choice as county parks commissioner.
"Larry impressed both me and my Transition Committee with his detailed plans for bringing volunteer support groups into the parks equation," Giambra said in a statement.
"He has been consulting with environmental specialists about the future of our four undeveloped parklands and will work closely with our environmental-management team on improving water quality and preserving biodiversity in our public spaces."
Giambra returned to Buffalo Thursday after an operation in New York City to remove cancerous tumors from his upper-neck lymph node and right tonsil. His top aide, Bruce L. Fisher, said Giambra is moving ahead with a Saturday inauguration although details are still being discussed.
"Joel is chomping at the bit to get back in the office," Fisher said, "but he knows he has to rest. We've had three important conference calls today on issues including the Health Care Reform Act and Larry's promotion."
Jasinski, 53, who has served as Giambra's executive assistant since 1990, is expected to be paid about $75,000 as parks commissioner. He will succeed Commissioner James J. Jankowiak.
The County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department operates two golf courses, botanical gardens, nine parks, two beaches, three Buffalo River urban parks and 3,000 acres of county forest land. It has about 100 full-time employees and a budget of $4.8 million for 2000.
"I am confident that he (Jasinski) will put his people skills to good use in managing a large work force that is already doing a good job but which could do an even better job for our taxpayers," Giambra said.