Lewis County Lawmakers Postpone Manager Decision

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Tuesday night's meeting started behind closed doors. The Lewis County Board of Legislators was debating whether to name Brian Wohnsiedler as the new county manager.

After waiting months to fill the position, legislators say a decision needs to be made now. 

But Paul Stanford says the former executive director of the Soil and Water Conservation District in Jefferson County has a questionable record.

"It's incompetence on the job," Stanford said. "So you don't hire someone that's incompetent to manage."

Stanford says he doesn't think Wohnsiedler is right for the position due to his sudden resignation from the district earlier this year after allegedly mishandling funds.

"The way that the mismanagement was -- the way that the grant money was handled," Stanford said. "You got to be smart to know what you're doing there. Because that becomes involvement in the state."

The board chairman Michael Tabolt says he's not ready to give up on Wohnsiedler, calling him a qualified candidate.

"I'm sure that Brian is a qualified, credentialed candidate," Tabolt said, "and I'm not ready to give up on him at this point, but what we're essentially doing is taking a step backwards and doing what we could have done sooner, which is check out references."

The board postponed appointing a county manager until July 15, hoping that'll be enough time to check references and re-evaluate Wohnsiedler's qualifications.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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