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McCaffrey resigns as Lockport mayor to become CEO of Eastern Niagara Hospital

Lockport Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey said Thursday that she will resign, effective Aug. 8, to become president and CEO of Eastern Niagara Hospital.

Common Council President David R. Wohleben will succeed her.

Wohleben, a Republican, said he will run in the November election for the final year of McCaffrey's term. A full four-year mayoral term will be on the ballot in November 2019.

Once he becomes the city's 58th mayor, Wohleben will be able to appoint successors to himself as Council president and 4th Ward alderman.

McCaffrey was Council president when then-Mayor Michael W. Tucker resigned in February 2014, leaving her as mayor.

She served nearly two years left on Tucker's term and won election to a full term in November 2015.

McCaffrey's salary with the city was $43,800 a year. The position at the hospital, which is being taken over by Kaleida Health, is expected to be much more lucrative.

McCaffrey said in a news release that she was offered the hospital position Tuesday. She had been talking to the hospital for about two months.

"This is an exciting opportunity for me to continue to serve the Lockport community in a new role," McCaffrey said. "The success of Eastern Niagara Hospital is of paramount importance to the future of our city and county, and I look forward to incorporating my community connections in Lockport and years of experience as a mental health administrator to lead ENH into the future. I will strive to foster a physician-friendly culture that is focused on patient and employee engagement. My goal will be to ensure that ENH is a high performing community hospital."

McCaffrey worked from 1991 to 2010 in various executive positions at Lake Shore Behavioral Health, including director of vocational services, director of rehabilitation services as well as coordinator of development and community relations.

She entered politics by winning a Council seat in 2011.

"Anne is a proven leader with great experience and a demonstrated track record in both the public and private sector," said Jody L. Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health. “Anne understands the needs of Lockport, Newfane and the surrounding communities and will work hard to enhance health care for the residents of eastern Niagara County."

"I'm very sad that she's leaving but very happy for her," said Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano. "I look forward to working with Dave Wohleben. There's a lot going on."

The city is looking for a new police chief. Also, officials hope to receive a grant of as much as $10 million from the state Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments, which would be a major financial boost for a city which teetered on the brink of bankruptcy when McCaffrey took office.

There's a lot happening at the hospital, too. Kaleida has pledged to continue Eastern Niagara’s plan to build a new $8.2 million emergency department in a new 21,000 square foot facility near the East Avenue entrance of the 134-bed hospital.


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