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News Release    

October 22, 2010      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Nine County Departments to Be Consolidated in 2011

Poughkeepsie… As Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced on October 12th,  his 2011 County Budget proposal will include bold county government reform of the management and service delivery structure.   Today he released details for the consolidation of multiple county departments including the elimination of six department head positions.

“Under this reform plan, nine existing county departments will be consolidated and realigned into just four departments,” said County Executive Steinhaus.   “Departments with similar missions will be able to merge activities, functions and services.   In 2011, we will have fewer managers and fewer departments, allowing us to rightsize our workforce and reduce payroll costs to taxpayers.   These steps are necessary for us to meet our fiscal challenges and still have an ability to deliver critical services to our residents.”

Nine county departments will be consolidated under County Executive Steinhaus’ plan including:

* The Division of Aging Services, Veteran Services Agency and the Youth Bureau will be consolidated into one department to be known as the Department of Services for Aging, Veterans and Youth, with separate divisions focusing on the specific needs of seniors, veterans and youth.

  • The three currently separate Department Head positions will be eliminated and the new department will be led by a single Commissioner of Services for Aging, Veterans and Youth.    Each division, Aging, Veterans and Youth, will have a Director as required by state law.    The “Division Director” model is already successfully used in numerous other county departments.
  • Each of these divisions share similar functions such as needs assessment, planning, service coordination, counseling/outreach and more.
  • John Beale, who currently serves as Division of Aging Services Department Head, will retire at the end of 2010.
  • Youth Bureau Director William Sanchez will step down as Executive Director.   It is anticipated Mr. Sanchez will remain with the County with different, non-department head duties in another county agency.
  • Veterans Service Agency Director Nelson Rivera will continue to serve the veterans’ community leading the veterans’ division within this new structure.

“These divisions all share similar missions of building a high quality of life,” said County Executive Steinhaus.   “Creating a new single department structure will allow us to rightsize administrative staff, while ensuring each unique division can still deliver core functions to each of their specific constituencies.”

The Department of Consumer Affairs/Weights and Measures will be absorbed by the Department of Health as a separate Weights & Measures Division.

  • The Consumer Affairs/Weights and Measures Department Head position will be eliminated.
  • John Matask, a 37 year veteran of Weights & Measures, has been serving as acting Director since the retirement of the prior Department Head, Nelson Kranker in July 2010.  Mr. Matask will continue to provide his expertise to the County, serving as the Director of the Weights & Measures division, reporting to the Commissioner of Health.
  • The Weights & Measures Division will continue to be responsible for the inspection of all scales and measuring devices in commercial establishments, the testing of petroleum products, inspection of retail price scanner accuracy, weights of all commodities and precious metal licensing. These functions align with the Health Department’s Environmental Health Services Division which permits and inspects food service facilities, tobacco retailers, children’s camps, hotels, motels, campsites, parks and much more. 

The Department of Real Property Tax will be consolidated and realigned under the Department of Finance.

  • The Department Head position for the Department of Real Property Tax will be eliminated.
  • Current Real Property Tax Department Head Kathy Myers will be retiring at the end of 2010.
  • Under the new structure, Real Property Tax will be a division of the Department of Finance reporting directly to the Commissioner of Finance.  

The Department of Risk Management will be consolidated within the Department of Personnel, which will be re-titled as the Department of Human Resources to more accurately reflect its functions.

  • The Director of Risk Management will report directly to the Commissioner of Human Resources and will no longer be a Department Head position.
  • This consolidation is anticipated to be a multi-year progression.
  • Linda Way will continue to perform the necessary Risk Management functions and duties, reporting to the Commissioner of Human Resources.

Additional details about other payroll reductions and personnel changes as a result of these department consolidations, as well as other rightsizing efforts beyond these nine departments, will be released as part of the Executive Budget proposal. 

Each of the department heads has been working with the budget and executive senior staff to evaluate these consolidations, exploring how services could be sustained or improved, expenses reduced through opportunities for shared staffing or payroll reductions, and many other issues. 

“I commend all of our Department Heads who have worked closely with us to explore how to make these consolidations work and allow Dutchess County government to evolve into an updated, more modern, efficient business model for government,” said County Executive Steinhaus.  “This has been a challenging budget process due to the realities of the impact of the national recession on local governments. I am grateful for the support from all of my Department Heads who are helping us face these challenges head on.”

Some of these department consolidations and restructurings will require amendments to the Dutchess County Charter.    All charter change proposals will be submitted to the Dutchess County Legislature along with Executive Budget proposal.   County Executive Steinhaus will submit his 2011 Executive Budget to the Dutchess County Legislature on its due date of November 1st.


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Last Updated: 12/28/2010