MAYVILLE- County Executive Elect George Borrello recently announced the formation of his transition team in advance of taking office January 1, 2018.
Borrello told voters that as part of his “Elevating Chautauqua County Plan” he would visit 100 businesses and organizations within the first 100 days of taking office.
The transition team will reportedly be tasked with identifying those 100 businesses and organizations, and developing a survey to determine what government can do best to help them thrive as well as using the survey information to create a database of information that will be used to tailor the county’s economic development strategy.
The transition team will also be initially tasked with advising Borrello on the implementation of the Countywide Alliance for Enforcement and Rehabilitation (CAER), which Borrello said would create a unified group of stakeholders to better address the drug crisis in Chautauqua County.
The transition team is also reportedly expected to guide Borrello in the formation of the Chautauqua Economic Development Alliance (CEDA).
“I am grateful to these prominent community leaders who have agreed to take on this important task to assist me as I prepare to take office,” said Borrello. “I believe their expertise in the private and public sector will play a key role in elevating Chautauqua County. They will assist me as I work every day to improve the lives for all those who call Chautauqua County home. I want Chautauqua County to be a place where people can prosper personally and professionally as well as being a place where people can raise a family and live in safety and security,” said Borrello.
The following community members have agreed to serve on the transition team:
• Bob Bankoski- Bankoski is a current Chautauqua County Legislator representing the City of Dunkirk, and also serves as the assistant minority leader of the Legislature. Legislator Bankoski is a retired New York State Corrections Officer and also retired from the United States Army where he served our nation for 20 years. Bob and his wife Tammy are owners of G&E Tents, Tables & Chairs, based in Dunkirk. Bankoski is also a 30-year member of Dunkirk Hose Company #1, where he is a volunteer firefighter.
• Helen Baran – Baran is the owner/operator of Baran Vineyards in Westfield where she has lived since 1941. She is President of the Board of Directors for Westfield Memorial Hospital, an affiliate of the Allegheny Health Network. She is also a member of the Board of Director’s for the Concord Grapebelt Heritage Association, and a member of the Grower’s Cooperative Juice Company. Baran also serves as a member of the Board of Director’s for the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation and Grants Committee. Baran works closely with the University of Buffalo Medical School in helping to place medical students in Chautauqua County for their rural rotation
• Vince DeJoy- DeJoy is the current Director of Development for the City of Jamestown. DeJoy is a Jamestown native who graduated from Jamestown High School and went on to SUNY Geneseo where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology. Prior to his appointment as Director of Development, DeJoy was elected to the Jamestown City Council where he was the Chairman of the Finance Committee for his entire tenure on the City Council. In his role as Director of Development, he also serves as the Executive Secretary of the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency (JURA) and Executive Director of the Jamestown Local Development Corporation (JLDC). DeJoy also serves as board member of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation, Habitat for Humanity, and the Greater Jamestown Zone Capital Corporation.
• Richard Johnson – Johnson currently serves as a retired partner in the firm of Johnson, Mackowiak & Associates, LLP with offices in Fredonia. Johnson became a certified public accountant in 1979, and has prior work experience with the U.S. General Accounting Office in Washington, D.C. Johnson has served on the Northern Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce, the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, and served as treasurer and Chairman of the Board for Brooks Memorial Hospital from 1986-2005. Johnson was born and raised in Dunkirk, and currently resides in Fredonia.
• Richard Ketcham – Ketcham is a retired President and CEO of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Utica, New York. Ketcham was also the President and CEO of Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, where he completed two $7 million expansion and renovation projects during his tenure. Ketcham is currently a member of the Chautauqua County Planning Board, as well as a member of the Rotary Club of Fredonia. Ketcham has an MBA from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of Rochester.
• Robert MacCallum- MacCallum is a retired Principal Utilities Engineer (Chief Engineer) for the New York State Department of Correctional Services who currently resides in the Town of Chautauqua. He previously worked as an Agricultural Equipment Operator for Vilardo Vineyards in Westfield. MacCallum has previously served on the Town of Carlton, NY Youth Recreation Committee, the Village of Sloan, NY Zoning Board, and the Albion Central School District Elementary School Board. He was also a volunteer firefighter in the Town of Carlton. MacCallum holds an A.A.S. Degree in Agriculture/Animal Science from Alfred State College.
• Mark Tarbrake – Tarbrake is a lifetime resident of Chautauqua County and graduate of Southwestern Schools. He earned his AA Degree from Jamestown Community College and his BA degree in History and Political Science from SUNY Oneonta. He is married to Christine and they have three daughters, Morgan 17, Kelsey 15, and Hannah 13. Tarbrake has served as a Town of Busti Councilman for 20 years, and the St. Susan’s Board of Directors for 6 years. He has also served as a County Legislator for the past eight years, and was the Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee. Tarbrake has worked at SKF in Falconer for 38 years, and is currently the production control dispatcher.
• Tom Tarpley (Chair) – Tarpley is a retired Police Lieutenant from Southern California where he worked for 24 years for the Tustin Police Department, and five years prior to that for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Tarpley has extensive experience in the investigation of narcotics cases. As an officer he worked three years in an undercover capacity in a high intensity drug trafficking area. As a Sergeant he supervised his agency’s narcotics detection K-9’s, and as a Lieutenant he was the Commander of the Special Operations Division, and was responsible for his department’s Special Investigations and Gang Enforcement Units who investigated drug trafficking organizations, and were members of the Orange County, California Regional Narcotics Suppression Program (RNSP), a countywide drug task force. Tarpley has an Associate of Arts Degree in the Administration of Justice from Long Beach City College in Long Beach, California, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from Chapman University in Orange California. Tarpley is a resident of the Town of Westfield, and he will chair the transition team.
The transition team will be supported by a liaison to the County Executive. Daniel Heitzenrater will serve in that capacity. Heitzenrater is currently the Executive Assistant for County Executive Vince Horrigan. He is a graduate of Jamestown Community College and SUNY Fredonia. Heitzenrater previously worked for U.S. Rep. Tom Reed as an immigration and passport casework specialist. Heitzenrater and his wife Jessica live in Falconer where he was recently elected to the Ellicott Town Council. He is very involved in the community as the incoming President of the Chautauqua Leadership Network, Vice-President of the Jamestown Skeet Club, and is a member of the Peacock Masonic Lodge in Mayville.
News Editor Matt Hummel and Multimedia Journalist Justin Gould contributed to this report.