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Lewis legislators plan to interview four manager candidates

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County legislators this week are slated to interview four candidates for their soon-to-be-vacant county manager position.

“We’ve got several good candidates,” said Timothy W. Ryan, the county’s human resources director.

The full Board of Legislators is slated to hold the interview sessions this morning and again Thursday morning; the committee-meetings-of-the-whole will be closed to the public.

Legislator Jack T. Bush, R-Brantingham, is currently in Florida but is expected to participate by telephone.

Chairman Michael A. Tabolt, R-Croghan, said his fellow lawmakers were asked last week to review resumes from the 10 applicants and choose the ones they would most like to interview.

Most of them had similar opinions on the top candidates, he said.

“It was easy to get down to three or four,” Mr. Ryan said.

Mr. Tabolt acknowledged that finding consensus on a top choice may prove more difficult, but he is hopeful to have someone in the position relatively soon.

“I think that depends entirely on the applicant that we choose,” he said.

Professional and management candidates typically require about a month’s notice to exit their prior jobs, Mr. Ryan said.

County Manager David H. Pendergast will retire Friday after five years in the position, so Mr. Tabolt will need to serve as acting manager for a time.

A pair of legislative committees will also soon begin narrowing candidates for a couple of open department head positions.

Around 35 people have applied for the recreational trail coordinator position, which has been vacant since mid-November, when former coordinator Robert C. Diehl was suspended over allegations he billed the county for gravel delivered for personal use.

Twelve were deemed qualified under Civil Service after the first round of applicants were received, but lawmakers decided to re-advertise and lessen the qualifications — effectively shaving two years off the experience requirements — to offer a larger pool of potential candidates.

With a few new applicants and the more eligible from the initial batch, Mr. Ryan said lawmakers should have more than 20 from which to choose.

The county also received five applications for public health director.

Former director Carol A. Paluck worked her last day on Friday; she plans to take a few weeks off before starting a new job elsewhere.

Legislators are slated to hold a special meeting at 10 a.m. today to appoint an interim director until a permanent replacement can be found.

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