Erie County's deputy budget director, Timothy Callan, will leave his influential government position and take a considerable pay cut to become a community development coordinator with the Town of Tonawanda.
His impending departure, after 13 years of rising through the ranks in county government, comes as a surprise to many given his role as a hands-on troubleshooter and outspoken defender of County Executive Mark Poloncarz's fiscal policies.
Callan, a Kenmore resident, said the job change has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with his desire to take on a community planning role in his hometown.
"I was looking for a new challenge, a new opportunity," he said. "I want to do something positive, not just troubleshooting major problems."
Callan earns about $104,000 as deputy budget director, so he will absorb a pay cut when he takes the town position, which will pay $75,000. His last day as deputy budget director will be Jan. 10.
Callan has worked for county government for nearly 13 years. He worked in the comptroller's office when Poloncarz was comptroller. Callan also worked as a budget analyst for the County Legislature's Democratic caucus. He's been deputy budget director since 2012.
"I’m really just ready to do something different. I’m certainly not leaving under any bad connotation," he said.
His wife, Kathy, served as campaign manager for incoming District Attorney John Flynn.
He pointed out that he's taken significant pay cuts before to do work he enjoys, and the fact that he doesn't have children makes it easier for him to pursue what interests him. Building up the Town of Tonawanda and helping to guide its future simply promises to be more rewarding than what he's doing now, he said.
"I view it as a really exciting opportunity," he said.