News Release

 

For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000
countyexec@co.dutchess.ny.us

For Immediate Release

December 19, 2002

Steinhaus Announces Retirement of County Leaders

Six Department Head Commissioners to Leave

 

Poughkeepsie…County Executive William R. Steinhaus has announced the retirement of six department heads from Dutchess County government. The retirees include Douglas A. McHoul, Commissioner of Personnel; Kevin Fish, Budget Director; Paul Cassillo, Commissioner of Public Works (DPW); Donald R. Rice, Director of Veterans Affairs; Edward Imperatore, Commissioner of Computer Information Systems (OCIS); and Stephen D. Curran, Director of Real Property Tax Services (RPT).  The retirements come under an Early Retirement Incentive program enacted by New York State for localities and adopted by Dutchess County in August.  In total, approximately 100 employees will be retiring by year’s end. 

County Executive Steinhaus noted, “In their various capacities with the County, these six individuals have provided over 129 years of service to the citizens of Dutchess County. It has been a privilege to work with each of these fine professionals.”  

Commissioner of Personnel Douglas McHoul is retiring after 31 years of County service.  He represented East Fishkill in the County Legislature for 20 years, serving as Chairman of the Legislature for four years.  In 1992, Steinhaus appointed McHoul as the Director of Office for the Aging and in 1998 he was appointed to his current position.  McHoul has been one of the County Executive’s most trusted advisors in his senior cabinet and has served as Acting County Executive at the designation and direction of Steinhaus.  During his six-year tenure at OFA, McHoul initiated the highly popular and successful Senior Picnic program, as well as senior exercise programs and the Overnight Respite program.  Dutchess County OFA was recognized by the state for serving the highest percentage of seniors among all district Offices for the Aging in New York State.  Mr. McHoul is very active, and expects to remain involved, in many community and civic organizations, including the United Way of Dutchess County, the Association for Senior Citizens, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and the Community Action Agency.  

Kevin Fish is retiring after serving as Dutchess County’s Budget Director.  Mr. Fish will continue in the position in a transitional capacity into early 2003.  Prior to coming to Dutchess County, Mr. Fish served 18 years in executive positions for the City of White Plains.  He served the country in active and reserve duty with the United States Navy, retiring in 1987 as a Commissioned Officer.  As Budget Director, Fish has assisted the County Executive in the development and administration of five operating and capital budgets, helping to achieve a reduction in real property tax rates for county residents in four successive years. Under Mr. Fish’s leadership, the County has streamlined a complicated County budget process and implemented a web-based budget preparation program.  Fish has been a key advisor to the County Executive, serving on the County’s Criminal Justice Council and providing a major leadership role in the successful negotiation of the County’s bargaining unit labor contracts.   

Paul Cassillo was appointed as Commissioner of Public Works in 1992 during Steinhaus’ first term.  During this time, Cassillo’s administrative responsibilities have been greatly expanded with the responsibility for County Parks operations and the County Airport added in 1994. Cassillo was previously employed in various public works and public engineering positions in the Capital district region, including the City of Schenectady.  In Dutchess County, Cassillo provided administration and direction for the construction of many County facilities, including the expansion and renovation of the Jail; a five-phase Court project, including the construction of the Family Court and historic renovation of the County Court House and other buildings; the E-911 Dispatch Center; Dutchess Baseball Stadium; multi-year improvement projects for the Parks system and the County Airport; and the development of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.  Under Cassillo’s leadership, the County received a national award for its innovative pavement reclamation program. 

Donald Rice, Director of Veterans Affairs, is retiring after 37 years of county service, including 29 years as Director and eight years as the Deputy Director of Veterans Services.  Mr. Rice served 20 years in the United States Navy, retiring in 1965 as a Chief Petty Officer.  His Navy service included action in the Korean War. Director Rice has provided services to county veterans during six decades and to many generations of veterans who provided military service to our country throughout the 20th and into the 21st centuries. Rice is recognized for his ability and accomplishments in ensuring veterans and their families receive all benefits to which they are entitled.  Mr. Rice remains active in many veteran and community organizations. 

Edward Imperatore is retiring after 20 years as the Commissioner of Computer Information Systems.  Mr. Imperatore has provided the administrative and technical leadership to advance the County’s level of electronic automation and service provided to different departments and local municipalities, and for providing services to the citizens of Dutchess County.  Under Commissioner Imperatore, the County has developed a County Wide Area Network, coordinating and integrating many County functions through e-mail, data sharing, and web-based Intranet and Internet applications and services.  He was instrumental in the development and automation of Public Safety and criminal justice programs and departments, and in the development of the E911 system.  These accomplishments have provided new and expanded services to the District Attorney’s Office, Emergency Response, Probation and the Sheriff’s Office and Jail.  The County has also adopted a PC-based Real Property System (used by the County and all local municipalities), a Geographic Information System (GIS), and an automated Document Retrieval System in our County Clerk’s Office.  Other counties look to Dutchess for guidance and direction in these areas due to Imperatore’s and the County’s progress and achievements.  As a result of Imperatore’s leadership, the County is positioned for transition to a true E-Government environment where all citizens, businesses and other governments will be able to transact their business online.

Stephen Curran, Director of Real Property Tax, is retiring following 10 years as Director and a total of 27 years of County service.  Prior to being appointed Director of RPT, Mr. Curran served in various technical positions with RPT and the County Planning Department, and he served four years as the Assessor for the Town of Pawling.  Mr. Curran provided leadership for the advanced automation of the department, including the introduction of a Geographic Information System (GIS), and the conversion from manual mapping to digital mapping, so tax maps are now available on computer and GIS systems.  New York State has acknowledged him for his expertise and knowledge, especially in relation to technology, agriculture and training.  Mr. Curran has been active in the state’s Directors of Real Tax Services Association, including the receipt of several honors and election to the Presidency of the association in 1999.

County Executive Steinhaus states, “The retirement of these individuals, as well as with the retirement of many other experienced and skilled County employees, will be a great loss to us in terms of their experience, knowledge and expertise, but this early retirement option was an opportunity few eligible employees could pass up.”

“I will miss each of these individuals personally, as well as for their professional services and guidance as part of my senior management team and my core advisors,” Steinhaus added.  “The demands of county service and the sacrifices they have made are great, but I hope they will have the time to devote to and enjoy their family and friends.  I wish them all a happy and healthy retirement.”

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2002 Press Releases