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Molinaro Names William F.X. O’Neil as Deputy County Executive

Published: 3/8/2012

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Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has named William F.X. O’Neil as Deputy County Executive.      Mr. O’Neil currently serves as Chief of Staff for County Executive Molinaro and will take on the additional responsibilities of the Deputy County Executive position in addition to his present role. This new position has no net impact on the county operating budget and does not change county government’s employee count.

Mr. O’Neil’s appointment follows the recent adoption the local law which amended Article III of the Dutchess County Charter to create the position of Deputy County Executive. The Dutchess County Legislature voted in February to adopt this local law and County Executive Molinaro signed it into law this morning, March 8th.

“The appointment of Bill O’Neil as Deputy County Executive is a logical approach to operating county government in a more practical way,” said County Executive Molinaro. “County government has grown substantially more complex and demanding since the County Charter was originally adopted in 1967.   Our focus is on how we can most effectively administer County operations and ensure seamless continuity and having a Deputy County Executive position allows us to do that.”

The Deputy County Executive acts on behalf of the County Executive when the County Executive is absent from the County. The Deputy County Executive can also be delegated the authority to act administratively for the County Executive.    In the past, if the County Executive was to leave the borders of Dutchess, even for just a few hours to attend a meeting in a neighboring county, he or she needed to appoint a department head to serve as Acting County Executive and file appropriate paperwork. The new Deputy County Executive position relieves this administrative burden and insures the continuous, streamlined management by an individual who is already intimately involved in the ongoing activities and policy development of the Executive office.

Across New York State, there are seventeen chartered county governments. Before the enactment of the local law, Dutchess County was one of only three counties that did not have a position titled Deputy County Executive, although one of the three had such a designation under a different title.

Dutchess County Legislator Dale Borchert, who represents District 3 – Town of LaGrange and also serves as Majority Leader, said, “This is a better operational system for county government, eliminating an outdated, burdensome administrative process.  It allows our County Executive to fulfill his responsibilities, in and outside of the county, particularly as he engages with officials in other counties and state government to partner together for efficiencies, while ensuring good leadership is in place to handle day to day operations of the County.”

William O’Neil has served as Chief of Staff for County Executive Molinaro since January 2012. He serves as one of two Assistants to the County Executive, overseeing several county departments and serving as senior policy advisor.  He originally joined Dutchess County Government in 2005, serving as Assistant to former County Executive William R. Steinhaus.     Prior to his public service with Dutchess County Government, he was senior executive in the healthcare software industry, in various positions of sales, marketing and management including Senior Vice President of Sales for Baxter Healthcare, Chief Operating Officer for MPower and President of a FISERV subsidiary.    

Dutchess County Legislator James R. Doxsey, who represents District 1 – Town of Poughkeepsie, said, “I have known Bill O’Neil for a number of years and County Executive Molinaro has made an excellent choice in appointing Bill as Deputy County Executive.   It is a pleasure to have one of the constituents of my district serving in the critical position.”

County Executive Molinaro has forwarded a resolution for Mr. O’Neil’s appointment as Deputy County Executive to the Dutchess County Legislature for consideration and confirmation at the March 12th board meeting.