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County creates temporary position as youth bureau transitions to new executive director

By Mike Pettinella

Genesee County is calling upon one of its own to provide experience and support while it conducts a search to fill the vacant youth bureau executive director position.

The legislature’s Human Services Committee on Monday voted in favor of creating a deputy youth bureau executive director, a temporary title that County Manager Matt Landers said will be given to Chelsea Elliott, (photo at right), who has worked for the county for the past seven years.

“Chelsea currently is our youth program coordinator and she is very capable,” County Manager Matt Landers said. “She runs our Youth Court and also coordinates the education piece on the youth side of the STOP-DWI program.”

The vacancy occurred last month when Jocelyn Sikorski stepped down to become executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, effective Jan. 25.

Landers said Elliott will be working with Sikorski over the next couple weeks to review the executive director’s responsibilities.

“We realize that there is going to be a period of time that the position is vacant, and looking at the need for somebody in house to transition us, this seemed like the most appropriate fashion (to proceed),” Landers said. “… with this being a union employee that would be stepping up into the role … we feel like this is a justified and prudent move for us to do.”

Landers said the resolution passed by Human Services (and subject to a vote of the full legislature) calls for the full-time deputy position to run for up to six months.

“We don’t anticipate it taking six months. We have spoken with Chelsea and she is agreeable to step up, and then once the director position is filled, the temporary position will be eliminated,” he said. “If Chelsea does have an interest (in succeeding Sikorski), this is something where we will have an opportunity to view her in the role. Certainly, she is eligible to throw her hat into the ring.”

The deputy executive director position provides additional pay for Elliott since her duties will increase, Landers said.

The change at the top of the county’s youth bureau comes as the City of Batavia, which has shared the county executive director for its youth programming, explores the possibility of contracting with an outside agency to provide city youth services.

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