CANANDAIGUA — Nearly eight months after the sudden departure of Ontario County’s first female administrator, the Board of Supervisors has named her successor.
At its meeting Thursday, the board named Christopher DeBolt to the post, effective starting Dec. 14. DeBolt currently works as Washington County’s administrator.
“I am extremely confident that with his knowledge, enthusiasm, integrity, and emotional intelligence, Mr. DeBolt will exceed the high standards of values and behaviors that Ontario County expects from its leaders and all employees, and that he will successfully guide the county during these challenging times,” Jack Marren, board chairman, said in a press release.
DeBolt will succeed Mary Krause, who left the job in late March in what county officials called a retirement for personal reasons. That came after Krause was placed on a paid leave of absence earlier in March.
At the time, Marren declined to discuss the matter further or say whether it was related to a dispute Krause had with Sue Cirencione, the county’s former STOP-DWI administrator. Cirencione, who left the job in January in what she called a retirement, later confirmed she left because of an adversarial relationship with Krause, but she has declined to discuss the matter further.
County Deputy Administrator Brian Young was named interim county administrator after Krause left. He will return to that position Dec. 14.
DeBolt, who was raised in the Livingston County community of Livonia, is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in public policy analysis and management. He has a master’s degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
DeBolt’s appointment is good through June 30, 2021, as he will fill the remainder of Krause’s term. He will be eligible for appointment to a full two-year term after that.
In an email to the Times, DeBolt said he worked in various capacities in Washington County leading up to his appointment as administrator in 2016. He has family in Livingston, Ontario and Seneca counties.
“My family and I are very excited to be coming back to the Finger Lakes region,” he said.
DeBolt thanked the board and members of the county administrator search committee, which unanimously recommended his appointment to the board. He and his family will be relocating to Ontario County over the next few weeks.
“I am looking forward to getting to know the department heads, Board of Supervisors and employees of Ontario County and continuing their extraordinary work on behalf of the residents there,” he said.
Geneva city Supervisor Dom Vedora cast the only “no” vote on DeBolt’s appointment. In an email to the Times over the weekend, Vedora said he thought it was wrong the board passed over Young, who applied for the administrator's job.
"He's been a loyal employee of 29 years. As deputy administrator, he stepped into the job eight months ago ... and has done an excellent job with not one complaint against him," Vedora said. "In fact, I've heard nothing but praise from employees and supervisors during this period, while he's guided through the pandemic and the budget crisis. It's like he's being fired, but is kind enough and conscientious enough to train the man that is going to replace him."
Vedora added that the county's succession planning committee meets to figure out ways to retain good employees.
"Brian Young has been retained for 29 years," Vedora said. "The top job in the county comes along, and they give him the boot."