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News Release    

April 25, 2005      

County Executive Announces Appointments to Four Top Posts

Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today four new appointments to key senior posts in county government.

Upon the retirement of County Attorney Ian MacDonald, County Executive Steinhaus has appointed Senior Assistant County Attorney and Pawling resident Ronald Wozniak as his replacement.  Mr. Wozniak has served the Dutchess County Attorney’s Office under Mr. MacDonald for 8 years.  Mr. Wozniak has broad and diverse experience, and previous municipal experience that will serve him well in the top spot of this integral county department.  Mr. Wozniak will spend the next two months in a transitional capacity working directly with Mr. MacDonald prior to his departure on June 30th of this year.

The County’s Commissioner of Finance Rita Brannen will also be retiring at the end of July after 34 years of service and will be replaced by Beacon resident, Pamela Barrack.  Ms. Barrack has owned and operated her own tax service business locally for 18 years.  She has 12 years prior experience as a Revenue Agent with the Internal Revenue Service, as well as two years serving as an Auditor at West Point Military Academy.  Ms. Barrack is also a member of the Dutchess County Community College Board of Trustees which oversees a $45 million budget at the college. Much like the transition taking place in the County Attorney’s office, Ms. Barrack will also come aboard and work directly with Commissioner Brannen for three months to become acclimated to the many duties and responsibilities associated with being the County’s chief financial officer.

With the appointment of long-time Assistant to the County Executive Earl Bruno last year to Commissioner of Personnel, Mr. William O’Neil will assume the role vacated by Mr. Bruno and will serve as a new Assistant in the Executive Office.  Mr. O’Neil is presently the Director of the Dutchess County Children’s Services Council.  Prior to his tenure with the Children’s Services Council, a community collaboration housed at the Dutchess County United Way, Mr. O’Neil was a senior executive in the healthcare software industry where held sales, marketing and management positions, gaining a broad scope of management experience in the private sector.  He also holds an MBA.  Mr. O’Neil is a native of Hyde Park and recently moved back to the County.  He is looking forward to a new public sector career where he will be better able to serve his community.

In addition, with the creation of a Health and Human Services Cabinet in the Executive Branch of the county government which was enacted during the 2005 budget cycle, County Executive Steinhaus has announced the promotion of Ms. Betsy Brockway of Pawling to head this Cabinet as its newly posted Director.  Ms. Brockway is a veteran to county government having served as the Executive Director of the Youth Bureau since her appointment by Mr. Steinhaus in 1992.  Ms. Brockway also spearheaded the human services internal county review team as they completed an 18 month analysis of human service delivery practices in Dutchess County through a contract with an upstate non-profit think-tank, the Center for Governmental Research Inc. (CGR).  Ms. Brockway will have oversight for department heads of the seven health and human services departments to implement many of the findings recommended by that study.

Along with these new staff appointments, the County Executive also announced a reorganization of his internal staff that will include his long-time Assistant to the County Executive Nancy Giordano to function as his newly designated Chief of Staff.  This is in addition to Ms. Giordano’s current responsibilities.  With the addition of the Director of the Health and Human Services Cabinet, the County Executive’s staff now totals five professionals who manage and oversee a county government structure of 22 departments, 2,000 employees, and a $375 million dollar budget.

“This is an exciting time in my administration.  We of course will miss the dedication and quality of our retiring department heads but I think we have made some good choices in their replacements who will serve county government well as we move forward,” said County Executive Steinhaus.  “I also believe reserving a couple of months for new faces to transition to the responsibilities of their new posts and in one case to a new Cabinet post will benefit all of our county employees.”

These appointments were announced today at the County Executive’s department head meeting earlier this morning.

Both the Commissioner of Finance and County Attorney appointments are subject to confirmation by the Legislature.  Resolutions will be forwarded in the coming days for the Legislature’s consideration during its June meeting.


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Last Updated: 4/25/2005