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Key committees approve department head hires

by jmaloni

McNall says salary cuts will garner $74k in annual savings

Tue, Feb 15th 2011 11:35 am

Three new department heads nominated by Niagara County Manager Jeff Glatz sailed through two County Legislature committees Monday night, winning unanimous backing before heading to likely approval at Tuesday night's Legislature meeting.

The new hires, who will now helm the county's office for the aging, youth bureau, and employment and training department, also ended up saving Niagara County taxpayers $74,000 in salary and benefits.

The substantial savings figures were revealed by administration committee Chairman Wm. Keith McNall, R-Lockport, following a joint meeting of the Legislature's administration and community services committees. McNall had requested the cost analysis from Budget Director Dan Huntington earlier in the day after final salary packages had been set in hiring resolutions.

"Preliminary estimates from the office of management and budget show approximately $74,000 in savings and benefit reductions from these three positions as well as the recently hired probation director," McNall told several colleagues following Monday's vote.

Following the departure of previous department heads, county lawmakers had directed that the department head salaries be cut dramatically from previous levels. The result is that office for the aging director-designate Ken Genewick, youth bureau director-designate Meghan Lutz, and employment and training director-designate Thomas Jaccarino, as well as Probation Director John Cicchetti, will reap a combined $74,000 less in salary and benefits than their predecessors were receiving, if their nominations are approved by the full Legislature Tuesday.

"In the continuing efforts by the county manager and the administration committee to reduce spending, all three of these new positions were hired with a lower amount of wage package than what was paid to the directors before them," McNall said. "And the administration committee will continue to monitor costs during 2011 in a sincere effort across the county to reduce spending."

Despite the lowered salaries, McNall said the county was poised to hire three quality department heads.

"These new directors bring with them much experience, and a record of quality work performance and proven leadership," McNall said, praising Glatz for his efforts to identify top candidates for the posts.

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