The new second-in-command in City Hall will be Albert T. Joseph, Niagara County's current director of human resources, Mayor-elect Irene J. Elia announced Wednesday.
"He knows the city and he knows the county," Elia said in naming her new city administrator. "That experience, coupled with his competency and administrative ability, make him an important link between city, county and state governments."
Joseph is a retired U.S. Air Force captain, a former retail businessman in the city for 14 years and an 18-year veteran with the Boy Scouts of America.
After unsuccessful bids for Niagara Falls City Council in 1991 and 1992, the 58-year-old Republican was vice chairman for three years of the city Zoning Board of Appeals and on the board of directors of the Urban Renewal Agency for two years. He was a candidate for thee Assembly in 1994 and came within 900 votes of unseating the 16-year incumbent.
Joseph replaces Anthony J. Restaino, who served under Mayor James C. Galie for four years.
In his current position, Joseph is responsible for all aspects of the county's personnel management programs. He has participated in labor union contract negotiations and has provided clerical support to the Civil Service Commission.
Elia said she interviewed 10 people for the job before choosing Joseph. Some of the candidates were former residents currently occupying influential positions in Washington, D.C., she said.
"I was looking for competent department heads, and my search took me to other cities," she said. "But once appointed, all my people will live in the city."
Joseph lives in Niagara Falls with his wife of 38 years, Shari. The couple has two sons and six grandchildren.
Veteran Councilman Anthony Quaranto, a Democrat, who in his 14 years on the Council worked under three mayors before Elia, said he's looking forward to "better communication" with Joseph as second-in-command.