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Niagara County department heads are told to reapply for jobs by Jan. 29

LOCKPORT – Ten top Niagara County officials were ordered Wednesday to reapply for their jobs by Jan. 29, as the county also solicits new applicants.

Failure by the incumbents to hand in their résumés would be equivalent to resignation, Public Information Officer Christian W. Peck said, but Jan. 29 wouldn’t necessarily be their last day. The departure date would be tied to succession arrangements, he said.

County Manager Jeffrey M. Glatz, who is resigning as of March 31, said he issued the directive at the behest of Legislature Chairman W. Keith McNall, R-Lockport, who said in his State of the County speech Tuesday night that a review of department heads is coming.

“Our next county manager must also have a team committed to this Legislature’s vision for our county’s future, and for that reason, we must initiate a careful examination of the staffing of our top government leadership posts,” McNall said.

Glatz said he always reviewed the performance of department heads, but asked whether he would have asked for résumés and new candidates if he were staying, he said, “Probably not.”

He said the résumés are to be reviewed by a committee, on which Glatz will not serve. Peck said that the membership of the committee has not been chosen but that legislators will be involved.

“I haven’t been let in on any advance notice of what the changes will be,” Glatz said.

The officials whose employment is up for review include Public Works Commissioner Kevin P. O’Brien and his deputy commissioner for engineering, Richard W. Eakin; Kenneth M. Genewick, director of the Office for the Aging; Budget Director Daniel P. Huntington; Human Resources Director Peter P. Lopes; Jennifer R. Pitarresi, director of risk and insurance; Information Technology Director Larry L. Helwig; Thomas M. Jaccarino, director of employment and training; Probation Director John J. Cicchetti; and Jeffrey E. Gaston, director of buildings and grounds.

Some are longtime officials. Helwig has held his job for 18 years, O’Brien for 14 years, and Huntington, Lopes and Pitarresi for 11 years each. On the other hand, Gaston joined the county only four months ago.

A county news release said information about applying for the jobs soon will be posted on the county website.