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Niagara County department heads apply to keep jobs

LOCKPORT – All of the Niagara County department heads who were asked to file resumes if they wanted to keep their jobs under the new county manager have done so, outgoing manager Jeffrey M. Glatz said Thursday.

But numerous other candidates who would like to be considered for appointments from Glatz’s successor also have sent in resumes.

“We got about 30 total,” Glatz said. “Some have submitted multiples.” By that, he meant some prospective candidates have applied for more than one job.

On Jan. 20, Glatz sent letters to 10 officials telling them they had to reapply by Jan. 29 if they wanted to keep their jobs. That deadline later was extended two weeks, to Friday.

Also, the number of affected incumbents was reduced to nine. Glatz said Probation Director John Cicchetti holds a competitive position governed by civil service rules, and should not have been included in the list of targeted officials.

Those who remained on the list of those who needed to reapply included Public Works Commissioner Kevin P. O’Brien and his deputy commissioner for engineering, Richard W. Eakin; Office for the Aging Director Kenneth M. Genewick; Budget Director Daniel P. Huntington; Human Resources Director Peter P. Lopes; Risk and Insurance Director Jennifer R. Pitarresi; Information Technology Director Larry L. Helwig; Employment and Training Director Thomas M. Jaccarino; and Buildings and Grounds Director Jeffrey E. Gaston.

In his Jan. 20 letter, Glatz told the department heads that an ad hoc search committee would hold job interviews for them. But last week, County Legislature Chairman W. Keith McNall said no such committee will be appointed.

“It will not be done by legislators,” McNall said. Glatz said the resumes will be held for sole review by the next manager.

Glatz is resigning as of March 31, and a legislative search committee will hold interviews Feb. 22 and 24 for four candidates to succeed him. However, one of the committee members, Legislature Minority Leader Dennis F. Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls, last week called the proceedings “a sham” and said the likely appointee was former Legislature Majority Leader Richard E. Updegrove, R-Lockport, who left office at the end of 2015.

The search committee, chaired by Legislator John Syracuse, R-Newfane, is to vote on a nominee March 7, with the Legislature’s Administration Committee to consider the name the following night. The full Legislature is expected to vote to confirm the choice at a subsequent meeting, yet to be scheduled.