Jason Molino https://www.thebatavian.com/ en https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png Jason Molino https://www.thebatavian.com/ Local Matters © 2008-2023 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Sat, 13 Jul 2024 00:13:24 -0400 https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png Wed, 21 Apr 2021 17:57:00 -0400 Former City Manager Molino accepts executive director post with Livingston County Water and Sewer Authority https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/former-city-manager-molino-accepts-executive-director-post-with-livingston-county

Jason Molino is returning to the GLOW region.

Molino, the City of Batavia manager for 11 years prior to leaving in January 2018 to become administrator for Tompkins County, has accepted the executive director post with the Livingston County Water and Sewer Authority based in Lakeville.

“For me, it was several things,” Molino said by telephone this afternoon. “It was the right move for my family -- wanting to spend more time with my family. I love the work I’ve done here, I love the community and the people I work with are phenomenal, but this really is a personal decision.”

Molino said he was looking forward to “a little more balance” in his life as he moves closer to extended family members who live in Western New York.

“This is an opportunity to continue to do good public work, which is important, as well as find a good balance in life that I want with my family,” he said.

Molino is married to the former Anna Lesh of Batavia. They have three daughters -- Sophia, 21; Stella, 10; and Charley, 8, and a son, Jason Jr., 6.

He begins his new role on June 14. He replaces Michelle Baines, who reportedly left for another job.

The 41-year-old Molino has experience in the water and sewer segment of municipal government, having been involved in a leadership capacity when the City of Batavia negotiated its latest water and sales tax agreements with Genesee County.

He said he is aware of Genesee’s current water project and said that Livingston County has similar opportunities to expand water supply to other parts of the county.

“We are looking to partner with other towns and villages on distribution (water) system management or collection (sewer) system management, and possible expansion of consumer capacity as well – all stuff that I feel comfortable with and was able to work on when in Batavia, whether it was water-related or sewer-related,” he said.

Molino is highly regarded in Tompkins County, with major accomplishments being the establishment of county’s Office of Veterans Services and hiring of its first director, establishment of the county’s first chief equity and diversity officer, and the review and recommendation to merge the Mental Health and Public Health departments.

He also led the county’s Reimagining Public Safety Collaborative in partnership with the City of Ithaca. In March of 2020 Molino declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has led Tompkins County through the crisis, instituting innovative measures to counteract sales tax shortfalls.

In a press release, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, chair of the Tompkins County Legislature, thanked Molino for his service, sharing that “Jason has served this county with integrity every single day in this role. He has brought a thoughtful presence as our administrator, showing deep support for our staff and fiduciary tact putting together budgets under ever-more-complicated circumstances.”

Mark McKeown, board chair of the Livingston County Water and Sewer Authority, said in a press release that Molino was hired following a thorough search and extensive interview process.

“Jason’s experience, background and leadership will serve LCWSA and its future very well,” McKeown said. “We are looking forward to having Jason join our LCWSA team and bringing his experience and perspective to our group.”

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/former-city-manager-molino-accepts-executive-director-post-with-livingston-county#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/former-city-manager-molino-accepts-executive-director-post-with-livingston-county Apr 21, 2021, 5:57pm Jason Molino Former City Manager Molino accepts executive director post with Livingston County Water and Sewer Authority mikepett <p></p><div class="align-right"> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/users/129907/2021-04/molino_2021_a.jpg" width="460" height="811"> </div> </div> Jason Molino is returning to the GLOW region. <p>Molino, the City of Batavia manager for 11 years prior to leaving in January 2018 to become administrator for Tompkins County, has accepted the executive director post with the Livingston County Water and Sewer Authority based in Lakeville.</p> <p>“For me, it was</p>
Photos: Goodbye Jason Molino https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-goodbye-jason-molino/507632

Dozens of people turned up at T.F. Brown's last night for a goodbye and thank you party for Jason Molino, who is working his last day as Batavia's City Manager today.

Above, Molino with County Manager Jay Gsell and Max Pies co-owner Steve Pies.

Molino with council presidents. From left, current council president Eugene Jankowski, and former council presidents Marianne Clattenburg and Bruce Tehan, who was council president in the 1980s, before Molino came to town, but wanted his picture with Molino and the other council presidents in attendance.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-goodbye-jason-molino/507632#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-goodbye-jason-molino/507632 Jan 12, 2018, 12:37pm Jason Molino Photos: Goodbye Jason Molino Howard Owens <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/users/60/2017-12/goodbyejasonmolino.jpg" width="460" height="307"> </div> </div> </p> <p>Dozens of people turned up at T.F. Brown's last night for a goodbye and thank you party for Jason Molino, who is working&nbsp;his last day as Batavia's City Manager today.</p> <p>Above, Molino with County Manager Jay Gsell and Max Pies co-owner Steve Pies.</p> <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/users/60/2017-12/goodbyejasonmolino-2.jpg" width="460" height="307"> </div> </div> </p> <p>Molino with council presidents. From left, current</p>
Council goes along with Molino's 'succession plan' recommendations; grants easement for JC Penney https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/council-goes-along-with-molinos-succession-plan-recommendations-grants-easement-for

Update: Tuesday, Jan. 9

Concerning negotiations between the City of Batavia and the Mall Merchants Association, Dr. Marlin Salmon this morning said that he is concerned over the parking situation in proximity to his dental practice located at the City Centre Mall, calling it a "significant issue" that has prevented him from signing the proposed agreement.

"I have talked with Jason (Molino) in the past and expressed my concerns," said Salmon, who is seeking consideration for parking spaces near his business. "The initial agreement gives us a pedestrian easement, but really what does that do?"

Molino said that the City has offered to restripe a portion of the east lot to have two-hour parking instead of all-day parking for "quicker turnover," but added that "there are only so many parking spaces close to his storefront."

The matter is on the docket in Erie County Supreme Court at 10 a.m. Wednesday with Judge Catherine Nugent-Panepinto presiding.

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No one questioned his suggestions and no one shot down his recommendations. Jason Molino's final meeting as Batavia city manager was a smooth one.

At tonight's special conference meeting at City Centre Council Chambers, Batavia City Council members unanimously signed off on Molino’s advice to appoint Department of Public Works Director Matthew Worth as the interim city manager and to contract with a recruiting firm to find Molino’s long-term replacement.

The meeting culminated a nearly 12-year association with the City for Molino, whose last day on the job is this Friday. He starts his new position as Tompkins County administrator on Jan. 29.

Council members -- after re-electing Eugene Jankowski as president and Paul Viele as president pro tempore for 2018 -- thanked Molino for his service through an official proclamation, which pointed to his budgeting and strategic planning expertise and his “leadership and creativity,” while also acknowledging his “integral” role in Batavia receiving a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award from the state.

Molino accepted the proclamation from Jankowski, quipping that “I bet you would have never predicted 12 years ago that you’d be giving me this,” referring to a situation where Jankowski’s position on the police force was eliminated midway through Molino’s tenure.

“It has been a fun time … quite the roller-coaster ride, with a lot of ups and downs,” Molino said. “The staff has been remarkable to work with, and you’re in good hands as you look for your next leader.”

The reins, at least temporarily (it could take up to six months to hire a new manager), are being handed over to Worth, who along with Ray Tourt, maintenance superintendent; James Ficarella, water and wastewater superintendent; and Lisa Neary, deputy director of finance, will be taking on additional responsibilities.

Council approved these appointments, which will come with additional stipends of $1,000 per month for Worth, and $750 per month each for Tourt, Ficarella and Neary.

Worth said he's ready to do what's needed to keep the City running efficiently.

"It’s really just a matter of need," he said. "There’s a gap and they felt that I could help to move forward until they could get that permanent solution for the city manager. The City has been awful good to me over the years, and if I can help them get through this interim area, I was happy to do it."

Molino’s departure means that both key leadership positions in the City will be vacant as Batavia also has been without an assistant city manager for some time.

As reported previously on The Batavian, Molino suggested that due to several major infrastructure projects on the table, Council would be wise to postpone a water line replacement project and a sanitary sewer design project on several streets until 2019 and 2020, respectively.

“From a construction perspective, it would be best to postpone them to next year because you won’t have the manpower available,” Molino said.

Worth said there will be plenty of construction work in the months ahead.

"The priorities, of course, are first and foremost are to assist Council in getting the new city manager search started, and get that moving forward," he said. "After that, the big tickets items that are outstanding are the few capital projects that were discussed – the TIP project and TAP project, which are sidewalk and large resurfacing. Hopefully, (there will be) a resolution to the mall issues and the sales tax/water agreement with the county are the big items that need all of our attention."

When asked if he was onboard with putting off the water line replacements projects on Union Street, Brooklyn Avenue and South Main Street, Worth said a year delay won't make much of a difference.

"Well, I can say I dug more holes in Union Street that I care to think about over my career, so I very much am looking forward to replacing that water main, but then again, that water main’s close to 100 years old -- so one more year, it seems that it’s a reasonable step to take," he said. "We want to do it once, and do it right. Those projects are projects that will be in place for 100 years ... so let’s make sure we spend the time and do it right."

Molino said he was confident that Worth, Ficarella, Tourt and Neary would be able to navigate through the projects, which include an overhaul of the city’s entire software system, sidewalk construction, street resurfacing, facilities capital plan, City Centre concourse improvements and the Ellicott Trail bicycle and pedestrian pathway.

“The budget probably will be one of the easiest things to get through since the department heads are involved in this,” he said.

As far as the search for the new manager is concerned, Council agreed with Molino’s contention that hiring an executive search firm – which could cost up to $20,000 – would be the best way to “recruit the best talent with a fresh perspective and not placing a huge responsibility on the staff.”

He made a point of stating that candidates at this level “are interviewing you (City Council),” not the other way around.”

“The reality is that they are interviewing you to see what you have to offer,” he said.

After some discussion, Council formed a committee of Jankowski, Robert Bialkowski and Adam Tabelski, which will reach out to three or four recruiting firms and get proposals prior to its Jan. 22 meeting.

Jankowski said he liked the idea of “formulating a hybrid committee” of Council members, business people, citizens and department heads to conduct the initial screening, but Kathleen Briggs said she was in favor of department heads and council members.

“No business leaders at this point,” she said, adding that Council was responsible for the hire.

It was agreed that the committee of three would work with human resources specialist Dawn Fairbanks to contact search firms and report back as soon as possible.

“I’ll make sure everyone is informed every step of the way,” Jankowski said. “We want to act on this as quickly as possible.”

In other action, Council:

-- Voted in favor of two resolutions dealing with the JC Penney store at the City Centre Mall, continuing the practice of having unique agreements with the department store – the mall’s anchor tenant.

The resolutions granted an easement for JC Penney, formally known as 40 Batavia Centre LLC, for its use of the loading dock which actually sits on city property. Last week, Black Equities transferred ownership of the property to 40 Batavia Centre LLC.

This latest action is “one of the final pieces of the settlement documents in getting them passed by Penney’s and their new property owner.”

Molino said just one property owner – Dr. Marlin Salmon, DDS, Salmon Orthodontics  – has refused to sign the settlement agreement that calls for the city to retain ownership of the downtown facility's concourse, pay 100 percent of capital improvements, and take care of mall maintenance and operations.

Dr. Salmon’s business is located on the north side of the mall, next to Batavia Family Dental.

Molino said that Dr. Salmon’s case will be reviewed by a judge in court on Wednesday.

Molino said JC Penney owners have “given their affirmation of wanting to stay in this community, which is good for our dialogue with them. They confirmed they want to be here; having that good anchor tenant is always a good thing.”

In photo at top, Jason Molino receives a farewell hug from Council member Rose Mary Christian. "You're the best manager we've ever had," Christian said, adding that she promised to "be good to these guys (his interim replacements) for the next six months."

Photos by Howard Owens.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/council-goes-along-with-molinos-succession-plan-recommendations-grants-easement-for#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/council-goes-along-with-molinos-succession-plan-recommendations-grants-easement-for Jan 8, 2018, 9:56pm Jason Molino Council goes along with Molino's 'succession plan' recommendations; grants easement for JC Penney mikepett <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/users/129907/2018-01/citycounciljan82018-2.jpg" width="460" height="307"> </div> </div> </p> <p><strong><em>Update: Tuesday, Jan. 9</em></strong></p> <p><em>Concerning negotiations between the City of Batavia and the Mall Merchants Association, Dr. Marlin Salmon this morning said that he is concerned over the parking situation in proximity to his dental practice located at the City Centre Mall, calling it a "significant issue" that has prevented</em></p>
Molino offers city manager search advice, recommends DPW Director Worth as interim leader https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/molino-offers-city-manager-search-advice-recommends-dpw-director-worth-as-interim Update: A gathering to thank Jason Molino on his service to the City of Batavia and to wish him well in his new endeavor is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Jan. 11 at T.F. Brown's in Batavia.

  • Contract with an executive search firm.
  • Offer a salary and benefits to attract top candidates.
  • Seek the opinions of existing staff members.
  • Don’t rush to hire someone just to fill the vacancy.

These are the primary suggestions from Batavia City Manager Jason Molino in a memo to City Council as the municipality’s governing body begins its search for a new chief executive.

The memo, dated Jan. 3, will be considered at Monday night’s City Council meeting (7 o’clock, City Centre Council Chambers).

Council also is expected to discuss another memo from Molino that recommends the appointment of Matthew Worth, Department of Public Works director, as the interim city manager, and the postponement of water and sewer projects on several city streets until 2019 and 2020.

Molino resigned his position last month, and will be starting his new job – as Tompkins County administrator – on Jan. 29. His last day in Batavia is Jan. 12.

In his city manager search memo, Molino places much stock in the benefit of an executive search firm.

“Executive search firms will most likely meet with City Council and staff to understand the culture of the organization and what type of leader you are looking for,” he wrote. “From there they would develop a recruitment profile that can be used to assist in advertising and recruiting for the position. Once the position is formally advertised, they will also have a network of existing managers and assistant managers that they know may be a good fit for Batavia.”

Molino indicated that he puts Batavia ahead of the City of Geneva, which also is seeking a new manager -- “This may be bias, but I think Batavia has much more to offer. Right now, Batavia has a great brand,” he wrote – but he also wrote that he believes Batavia’s pay scale is about $15,000 to $20,000 behind the “pay scale of comparable communities.”

He recommends that Council should form a search committee of “a few Council members, department heads and maybe a few community leaders” and to solicit feedback from the staff “that will be working closest to the city manager.”

All told, he wrote that he expects the search to cost around $20,000.

In closing, he advised Council to not hire someone just to fill the vacancy if “no candidate is appealing or appears to be a good fit … Do another search until you find the right leader for your organization.”

Increased Duties for Worth, Others

During the transition, Molino wrote that Worth has agreed to serve as interim city manager until a new leader is appointed, and also suggests additional roles for Ray Tourt, maintenance superintendent; James Ficarella, water and wastewater superintendent, and Lisa Near, deputy director of finance.

His suggestions come with $1,000 per month additional stipends for Worth, and $750 each for Tourt, Ficarella and Neary. All would be effective Jan. 13, contingent upon Council’s approval.

“Originally, the City had proposed a $2 million water line replacement for Union Street, Brooklyn Avenue and South Main Street, in addition to starting the design for a $1.5 million sanitary sewer replacement for Franklin Street, and a Maple & Mill Street sanitary sewer realignment,” Molino wrote. “While this capital work is important, it is recommended that it be pushed back to 2019 and 2020, respectively, when a new City leadership is on board.”

Molino noted that negotiations are continuing with Genesee County regarding water and sales tax agreements – calling it the “single most impactful and important issue facing the interim city manager and City Council over the next six months.”

Because Worth will be required to handle pressing issues, more responsibility will fall upon the other three department heads, particularly several capital projects representing $7 million of infrastructure investment, and the fiscal duties that accompany them.

Click here to read the entire memos on the Batavia City Council page (Organizational Meeting Agenda and Special Conference Agenda -- Jan. 8, 2018). Both meetings are open to the public.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/molino-offers-city-manager-search-advice-recommends-dpw-director-worth-as-interim#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/molino-offers-city-manager-search-advice-recommends-dpw-director-worth-as-interim Jan 5, 2018, 12:15pm Jason Molino Molino offers city manager search advice, recommends DPW Director Worth as interim leader mikepett <p><em>Update: A gathering to thank Jason Molino on his service to the City of Batavia and to wish him well in his new endeavor is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Jan. 11 at T.F. Brown's in Batavia.</em></p> <ul> <li>Contract with an executive search firm.</li> <li>Offer a salary and benefits to</li></ul>
Council learns of Molino's 'exit strategy' during executive session https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/council-learns-of-molinos-exit-strategy-during-executive-session/504422 Outgoing Manager Jason Molino’s “main goal” is to provide his successor with as much information as possible to help him or her navigate through the many projects that are on the table in the City of Batavia.

That’s the word from City Council President Eugene Jankowski, summarizing Wednesday night’s special meeting – a closed executive session – at the City Centre Council Board Room.

“Jason’s main goal is to outline everything in a detailed and concise manner to benefit the incoming manager and make it easy to understand what is going on,” Jankowski said.

While Jankowski said there is no obligation – financial or otherwise -- for either party to continue any relationship after Molino’s final day on the job (Jan. 12), he did say that Molino has “volunteered to answer questions after he leaves for a reasonable amount of time.”

Jankowski termed the meeting as an “exit interview” and a time for “constructive criticism both ways.”

The council president said most of the 45-minute meeting consisted of Molino giving suggestions about what skills and qualifications that Council needs to look for in its next manager, and how to improve employer/employee relations.

“He cleared the air as to why he was leaving, basically stating what he said before, that he was moving up the ladder and taking the next step in his professional development,” Jankowski said. “There also was a lot of heart-to-heart, which is a good thing.”

Jankowski said Molino outlined “his exit strategy” and briefed Council on the major projects.

“Jason also will be making suggestions on who he thinks should be the interim manager, and suggested that Council should make an interim appointment effective Jan. 13,” Jankowski said.

Although no specifics were discussed concerning an interim replacement, Jankowski said that he thinks “it would be reasonable to compensate someone for additional duties” should the interim tag be placed upon a current city employee.

Jankowski said there was no discussion on how to fill the position, adding that a public debate is less than two weeks away.

“You can expect a lively debate about how we will proceed at our next meeting on January 8th,” he said.

Molino resigned on Dec. 18 after 11 years in Batavia, and will start his new job as Tompkins County Administrator on Jan. 29. The new position comes with more responsibility and a substantial raise from his current salary of about $94,000.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/council-learns-of-molinos-exit-strategy-during-executive-session/504422#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/council-learns-of-molinos-exit-strategy-during-executive-session/504422 Dec 28, 2017, 11:02am Jason Molino Council learns of Molino's 'exit strategy' during executive session mikepett <p>Outgoing Manager Jason Molino’s “main goal” is to provide his successor with as much information as possible to help him or her navigate through the many projects that are on the table in the City of Batavia.</p> <p>That’s the word from City Council President Eugene Jankowski, summarizing Wednesday night’s special</p>
City Council sets executive session for Wednesday to discuss manager position https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/city-council-sets-executive-session-for-wednesday-to-discuss-manager-position/503877 Batavia City Council, in an effort to get a "head start" on the task of finding a new city manager, has called an executive session for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the City Centre Council Board Room.

Officially designated as a special business meeting, the session will not be open to the public, Council President Eugene Jankowski said this afternoon.

"This will be completely an executive session, since there has been no gathering of Council to discuss the next step (in light of Jason Molino's resignation on Dec. 18)," Jankowski said. "Our thought is to get a head start on everything that needs to be done to find a successor -- which procedures to follow, Jason's exit plan and the best direction to take."

The Tompkins County Legislature formally appointed Molino as the new Tompkins County Administrator on Dec. 19, effective Jan. 29.

Jankowski said Molino will be an "integral part" of Wednesday's informational meeting, which he said was proper since this deals with a "personnel matter."

"I just talked to Jason about an hour ago, and he said that his concern is that the city is left in proper hands when he leaves," said Jankowski, adding that he wasn't sure of Molino's last day on the job in Batavia.

(The Batavian has just learned that Molino's last day as city manager will be Jan. 12).

The council president said it was imperative that all council members "get on the same page to weigh all of our options."

Those options include whether or not to hire a job search consultant, whether or not to appoint an interim city manager, and whether or not to focus on the city manager appointment and put the vacant assistant city manager position on hold.

"Hopefully, as a result of the executive session, will be able to discuss the situation publicly at the January 8th meeting," Jankowski said. "As of right now, there are a lot of unanswered questions."

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/city-council-sets-executive-session-for-wednesday-to-discuss-manager-position/503877#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/city-council-sets-executive-session-for-wednesday-to-discuss-manager-position/503877 Dec 26, 2017, 3:56pm Jason Molino City Council sets executive session for Wednesday to discuss manager position mikepett <p>Batavia City Council, in an effort to get a "head start" on the task of finding a new city manager, has called an executive session for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the City Centre Council Board Room.</p> <p>Officially designated as a special business meeting, the session will not be open to</p>
Tompkins County Legislature sets new administrator Molino's salary at $130K https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/tompkins-county-legislature-sets-new-administrator-molinos-salary-at-130k/502107 Updated - Dec. 20 - 9 a.m.
From Tompkins County Legislature

Legislature Approves Appointment of Jason Molino as County Administrator

The Legislature, by unanimous vote, confirmed the appointment of Jason Molino, currently City Manager of the City of Batavia, NY, as Tompkins County Administrator, effective January 29, 2018. In a second unanimous vote, the Legislature approved an annual salary for the position of $130,000 for 2018, which falls above the position’s current salary range.

The action also indicates that the County Administrator will be eligible to receive the same fringe benefits and annual salary adjustments as those provided other management staff as negotiated and upon ratification of the County’s CSEA White Collar union.

A credentialed local government management professional by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) with diversified experience in public administration, Mr. Molino has served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Fiscal Officer of the City of Batavia since 2006 and for two years before that as Assistant to the Village Manager for the Village of Port Chester, New York.

Legislature Chair Michael Lane congratulated Mr. Molino on behalf of the Legislature, and said that, among the things that had impressed the Legislature was that, after applying, he had taken the time to attend some of the meetings of the Legislature and its committees. “This is a feather in his cap,” Lane said.

“Thank you for the warm welcome,” the new Administrator said. “It’s an honor to be selected.” Molino added that he has watched Tompkins County government from afar over the years, and that “it’s a pleasure to be part of this team.”

Budget, Capital, and Personnel Committee Chair Jim Dennis, who chaired the search committee, remarked, “I’m pleased with the work of the committee and the people involved in it—another good process that the County has had to pick people for very important jobs.”

Other Administration changes:

Chair Lane announced that long-time Deputy County Administrator Paula Younger, who has served as Interim County Administrator since mid-November, has received an opportunity for another important role and will be leaving county government in early January. “I think it will be wonderful for our government and Tompkins County, as well,” he said, telling Younger, “We certainly appreciate what you have been doing for us every day.” County Attorney Jonathan Wood will assume Interim Administrator responsibilities from the time of Ms. Younger’s departure until Administrator Molino comes on board.

Previously:

Tompkins County Legislature officially voted to hire 11-year Batavia City Manager Jason Molino as its new County Administrator tonight.

Molino confirmed the appointment as he returned from Ithaca with his family.

In a published report, Legislature Chair Mike Lane acknowledged Molino’s strong background in budgeting, labor relations, and management oversight, and was confident that county personnel "would work with him to keep them on a course for success."

Molino is expected to continue to serve as Batavia's manager until the end of January.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/tompkins-county-legislature-sets-new-administrator-molinos-salary-at-130k/502107#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/tompkins-county-legislature-sets-new-administrator-molinos-salary-at-130k/502107 Dec 20, 2017, 8:56am Jason Molino Tompkins County Legislature sets new administrator Molino's salary at $130K mikepett <p><em>Updated - Dec. 20 - 9 a.m.<br> From Tompkins County Legislature</em></p> <p><strong>Legislature Approves Appointment of Jason Molino as County Administrator</strong></p> <p>The Legislature, by unanimous vote, confirmed the appointment of Jason Molino, currently City Manager of the City of Batavia, NY, as Tompkins County Administrator, effective January 29, 2018. In a</p>
City Council, Molino open talks for possible multi-year employment contract https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/city-council-molino-open-talks-for-possible-multi-year-employment-contract/462996 Batavia City Council has begun talks with City Manager Jason Molino to renegotiate his contract.

Council President Eugene Jankowski confirmed following tonight’s meeting at City Centre that the subject of Molino’s pay and contract was part of an executive session held before the 7 o’clock meeting – and that talks will continue until both parties reach an agreement.

“Jason’s present contract is over 10 years old and has no expiration date so, during talking with Council, we decided that we wanted to propose another contract negotiation with Jason,” Jankowski said. “Jason drew up a contract and presented it to Council, and we’re now in the process of going through that contract and making a counterproposal.”

Last month, Council voted 5-4 against giving a 2.75 percent raise to Molino, who was hired in 2006 as assistant city manager and became the city manager shortly thereafter. His current salary is $93,782.

Jankowski said he expects the new contract to be a three-year or four-year pact – that’s still up in the air – a switch that would put an end to the yearly, somewhat contentious salary situation.

“As it looks like it’s presented and from what I’ve seen so far, that’s a strong possibility that the salaries will be more incremental over a period of years, instead of yearly budgeted,” Jankowski said.

“It will be similar to a police or a fire or a DPW contract – a period of time with set amounts already in there -- so we can forecast in our budget what to expect over the next so many years (and) so we’re not blindsided by any unnecessary costs each budget year. We’ll know ahead of time where we’re going and where it’s going for.”

The council president said a three-member committee of Council members Adam Tabelski, Rose Mary Christian and Robert Bialkowski met with Molino to get the ball rolling.

“They had the initial meeting with Jason and listened and brought it back to council,” he said. “And we listened. My goal is to get this done by the end of this budget year (March 31, 2018), and start with the new contract at some point.”

Jankowski said he wasn’t sure if the agreement will include retroactive benefits, adding that Council “will have the lawyers look at it and then do the counterproposals -- and go back and forth between Jason and Council."

During the Business meeting, Molino reported that the interview process for the new assistant manager is ongoing. Batavia has been without an assistant manager since July when Gretchen DiFante resigned to take a similar position in the state of Alabama.

Jankowski said he’s in favor of a full-time assistant manager although the City Charter does not indicate the number of hours for the authorized position.

“Because of the city of our size, I believe that an assistant manager is helpful in the event that the manager is unavailable,” he said. “A part-time assistant manager might not be ready to jump into the reins, to jump into the job that needed to happen.”

In other developments, Council:

-- Approved a new contract with the City’s 35 Department of Public Works, wastewater and water treatment plant, highway and parks employees (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union).

The one-year collective bargaining agreement that begins on April 1, 2018 provides the employees a 1.75-percent salary increase, a $450 uniform credit, and reopens talks should sales tax distribution affect the workers. The impact upon the City budget is $38,000.

-- Accepted a $218,000 bid from Hohl Industrial Services Inc., of Tonawanda, to replace and rebuild the traveling mechanical screen and the cyclone grit classifier at the Wastewater Treatment Facility.

-- Approved five resolutions transferring various amounts to complete capital projects ($20,000), to the public works equipment reserve fund ($50,000), to the Ellicott Trail pedestrian/bicycle project ($146,000), to the sidewalk reconstruction fund ($25,000) and to the administrative services equipment and software reserve fund ($300,000).

-- Voted to amend the fire department budget to reflect the receipt of a $236,072 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to buy 24 self-contained breathing apparatus units – replacing the ones that have outlived their usefulness.

The grant also provides money to purchase a Pak Tracker system that is used to locate a firefighter who becomes missing or trapped in a dangerous environment.

-- Authorized the City to contract with the state Department of Transportation to complete construction phases of the “Healthy Schools” project in the amount of $982,238, of which 75 percent will be reimbursed to the City.

The pact calls for the early 2018 replacement of 12,300 feet of sidewalk for Liberty Street from East Main Street to Morton Avenue, and Washington Avenue from Ross Street to Bank Street.

-- Heard a brief report from Council Member Rose Mary Christian about the “marvelous” program being offered to youth at City Church’s property on Liberty Street (St. Anthony’s). Christian estimated that 300 children participated in various activities, including basketball, dance and ping pong.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/city-council-molino-open-talks-for-possible-multi-year-employment-contract/462996#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/city-council-molino-open-talks-for-possible-multi-year-employment-contract/462996 Nov 13, 2017, 8:50pm Jason Molino City Council, Molino open talks for possible multi-year employment contract mikepett <p>Batavia City Council has begun talks with City Manager Jason Molino to renegotiate his contract.</p> <p>Council President Eugene Jankowski confirmed following tonight’s meeting at City Centre that the subject of Molino’s pay and contract was part of an executive session held before the 7 o’clock meeting – and that talks</p>
City Manager Jason Molino weathers the storm, leads Batavia into 'growth mode' https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/city-manager-jason-molino-weathers-the-storm-leads-batavia-into-growth-mode/440429

With more than a decade as manager of the City of Batavia under his belt, 38-year-old Jason Molino says he cherishes the opportunity to move the community forward, ever mindful of the support he has received along the way.

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Sidebar: City Council president weighs in on Molino’s performance.
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“Every day is a new day, and the most fun is the (City of Batavia) staff,” he said. “We are fortunate to have dedicated people who go above and beyond – people who are committed to the community and seeing each other succeed -- and work in a community that is thankful for everything you do. That’s what makes it most enjoyable.”

Molino, a Saratoga Spring native, moved to Batavia in the winter of 2006 after accepting the assistant city manager position.

He admitted that local governmental administration is “a tough field, with a level of scrutiny,” but his motivation comes from understanding that “change happens” at the local level.

Molino started out as an environmental science major in college but switched to political science – a move he doesn’t regret.

“It was the second semester at Norwich (University in Northfield, Vt.) when I decided that environmental science – with all of those science courses – was not for me,” he said.

Also during this time, Molino joined the U.S. Coast Guard reserve as a Petty Officer 2nd Class and stayed on until 2007.

While political science can be a broad field, Molino focused on a degree in management, enrolling at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University of Albany. He overcame some initial doubts to earn a Master of Public Policy degree (the public sector version of an MBA).

“The program was one of the best in the country,” Molino said, noting that many international students – from the Eastern bloc and Asia -- were there “to learn public administration from the American values perspective.”

But Molino said he still wasn’t sure that he made the right move – “I wondered why I was here?” he said – until he took a local government seminar course taught by Bob McEvoy, a retired Schenectady County manager who became Molino’s mentor.

After graduate school and a one-year stint as a management assistant in Schenectady County, in 2004 Molino accepted the position of assistant to the village manager in Port Chester in Westchester County.

His responsibilities included developing budgets for the village’s geographic information system (GIS), leading a yearlong study of sanitation services, coordinating stormwater management, digitizing documents to improve workflow and negotiating labor contracts for 150 full-time employees.

“That was a different environment … a lot of the county’s villages and towns have managers,” Molino said. “When the Batavia assistant manager job was advertised, I applied, thinking that it was an opportunity to come back upstate. It was my journey back north, so to speak.”

It was his first experience with Western New York, however.

“I remember getting into town and stopping at the Chamber of Commerce office, which was downtown, and I grabbed some quarters to put in the parking meters,” he said. “I then realized that I didn’t have to pay for parking. Now that was something I didn’t live with. The next thing I did was check out Royal Rink (now Falleti Ice Arena).”

Molino’s interest in the ice rink stems from his years as a hockey player in Saratoga Springs, a passion that continues today as a goalie in the Batavia Men’s Hockey League.

At the time of his hiring as assistant city manager, Molino said he was unaware of the City’s financial difficulties. It didn’t take him long to see there were problems, however.

“It was around the summer of 2006 when I made Council aware that the City was late in disclosing financial statements,” he said. “There were six to seven years of operational deficits, and I was making a presentation a month to Council that this is what has been happening, and made immediate, short-term and long-term recommendations.”

Shortly thereafter, Molino replaced Matthew Coppler as city manager and embarked on a mission to erase a $2.2 million fund balance deficit. At the age of 26, he was the youngest city manager in the state.

“It was a difficult time,” he recalled. “We had no assistant, the deputy director of finance had left and the City Clerk was on maternity leave.”

Molino said his initial strategy was to draft a balanced budget and “stop the bleeding.”

“We took drastic measures, realizing a small surplus in operations, but the next budget (2007-08) was painful – reduction of services, retirement incentives, tax increases and staff cuts. ”We didn’t even have the proper equipment at that time as the City hadn’t purchased a piece of equipment in 10 years.”

Working together, Molino and City Council managed to stay out of the red every year since, unless there were planned expenditures, such as capital improvement plans and infrastructure projects.

Starting in 2009 and continuing to this day, Molino implemented best practices for budgeting, and the City has been honored by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the past three years for its budget presentation.

The year 2009 was an important year for Molino personally as he and Batavia native Anna Lesh were married following a two-year courtship. They reside on the city’s northwest side with children, Sophia Dinehart, a senior at Batavia High; Stella, 7; Charley, 5, and Jason Jr., 3.

Other important changes in the past eight years include consolidating police dispatch with Genesee County, abolishing the City’s ambulance service, developing a plan to revitalize the downtown Brownfield Opportunity Area (notably the Batavia Pathways to Prosperity funding arm), and participating in the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

“All of this has been driven by us trying to save money and improve operations,” Molino said. “We received pushback, for sure, because these were big decisions, tough decisions. Council made the decisions in light of severe financial challenges.”

Fairport Village Manager Bryan White, who at 37 is on a parallel career track with Molino since their time at Rockefeller College, gives Molino glowing reviews for restoring Batavia’s fiscal health.

“I don’t think Batavia understands the caliber of manager that Jason is,” said White, the current president of the NYS City/County Management Association (a position formerly held by Molino). “He is a true professional who is driven to succeed, who cares about the community and is well-rounded in regard to his thinking and processes.”

White said Molino’s status as a “credentialed manager” speaks volumes.

“You have to be in the program for over seven years just to apply, and you have to prove to your peers that you have achieved a level of competency in public sector management and local government,” he said.

Molino has been successful, White said, by “building an environment that fosters leadership, confidence, and accountability.”

Today, Batavia has emerged from the “recovery mode,” as Molino puts it, into a “growth mode that can propel the community to greater things.”

And last month’s announcement that the City won the $10 million DRI award for the Finger Lakes Region will make Molino’s campaign of $100 Million, I’m All In campaign much more reachable.

“We’re looking for $100 million in investment in the City by 2022,” he said. “With input from the staff, support from Council and the community, we can do it.”

In the meantime, the City has secured $2.5 million in funding for extensive street repair on Union, Clinton, Vine, Liberty and South Liberty streets, and East Avenue in 2018, work that will include resurfacing, sidewalks and water lines, Molino said.

All told, the City has made a remarkable recovery – tax increases, if any, have been minimal; state and federal money is coming in and it looks as though a solution to the ongoing dilemma known as the City Centre Mall is near.

Molino indicated that interviews for the assistant city manager position are concluding and that a final candidate will be introduced within a couple weeks. Batavia has been without an assistant to Molino since the departure of Gretchen DiFante in July.

 “There have been challenges and curveballs, but throughout all of this, City Council has made the decisions to allow these things to progress – a lot of important decisions,” said Molino, who manages a $25 million budget and a workforce of 140 (full-time equivalent).

He said that discussions are ongoing with the owner of property on Swan Street, a parcel targeted by a city task force for a potential site for a new police headquarters.

“We’re trying to get a contract for a sale in front of Council,” he said, adding that a facility with a $10 million to $15 million price tag would have a significant impact on taxes – and will trigger community input from those on both sides of the fence.

Molino said he understands that public criticism of those charged with making the decisions comes with the territory.

“Anybody that gets into this line of work must accept the fact that he or she will be criticized publicly,” he said. “Even with the best of intentions and ideas, it is the people’s right to criticize. While I don’t take it personally, sometimes people cross the line.

“But at the end of the day, I’m recommending what I believe to be the best possible solutions, giving Council the information to make its decision.”

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/city-manager-jason-molino-weathers-the-storm-leads-batavia-into-growth-mode/440429#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/city-manager-jason-molino-weathers-the-storm-leads-batavia-into-growth-mode/440429 Oct 25, 2017, 8:15am Jason Molino City Manager Jason Molino weathers the storm, leads Batavia into 'growth mode' mikepett <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/users/129907/2017-10/jasonmolinooct2320178.jpg" width="460" height="307"> </div> </div> </p> <p>With more than a decade as manager of the City of Batavia under his belt, 38-year-old Jason Molino says he cherishes the opportunity to move the community forward, ever mindful of the support he has received along the way.</p> <p><em>-------------------<br> <strong>Sidebar: <a href="http://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/jankowski-on-molino-maturity-patience-bringing-things-to-light/440428">City Council president weighs in on Molino’s performance.</a><br> -------------------</strong></em></p>
Jankowski on Molino: Maturity, patience bringing things to light https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/jankowski-on-molino-maturity-patience-bringing-things-to-light/440428 Batavia City Council President Eugene Jankowski says that a combination of maturity and patience has enabled City Manager Jason Molino to have grown “by leaps and bounds” since he took over as a fledgling administrator in 2006.

“You have to credit the city manager for putting the right people in the right place, and trusting them to do their job,” said Jankowski, a former city police officer who has served as City Council president for the past two years. “Over the last four years, he has grown exponentially – looking at the big picture and making moves today that will have a positive outcome down the road.”

Jankowski said City Council and management have worked as a team to overcome hard times in Batavia, but acknowledged that it hasn’t been an easy road for Molino.

“He started out kind of young and that was a disadvantage in that respect. He was thrust into it and had a lot of ground to make up,” Jankowski said.

Molino made decisions in the late 2000s that were “not popular,” according to Jankowski, who admitted that he did not agree with many of them.

“It was a bad situation; we had to tighten our belt,” he said. “Eventually, there was daylight, thanks to strong budgeting and fiscal responsibility. The past four years, Council has taken more responsibility and now we are in the building stage, with a little room to look toward the future.”

Jankowski said that all of the good things happening today – revitalization of the former Soccio & Della Penna property on Ellicott Street, the JJ Newberry building on Main Street, the $10 million state DRI award, fixing the City Centre Mall situation – have come about as a result of strategic planning and implementation.

“Council made these priorities and Jason has been working on these for several years,” he said. “He has built bridges and through careful planning has made this happen.”

Jankowski said that a true sign of maturity was Molino’s approach to a second DRI application after Batavia lost out in its initial attempt.

“He did his research and modified the second application with a totally different pitch – a total different angle,” he said. “He learned from things that didn’t go so well and made the adjustments to make it work.”

All in all, Jankowski said he was encouraged and excited over the City’s recent good fortune.

“We even were able to buy a $900,000 fire truck, paying in cash, and that is due to Jason’s foresight by keeping the budget trim. Normally, we would have had to take out a bond and pay thousands of dollars in interest over so many years.”

Jankowski said Molino deserves to be acknowledged for hanging tough.

“When things were going bad, he took the heat,” he said. “Now that things have turned around, he should get the credit.” 

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/jankowski-on-molino-maturity-patience-bringing-things-to-light/440428#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/jankowski-on-molino-maturity-patience-bringing-things-to-light/440428 Oct 25, 2017, 8:14am Jason Molino Jankowski on Molino: Maturity, patience bringing things to light mikepett <p>Batavia City Council President Eugene Jankowski says that a combination of maturity and patience has enabled City Manager Jason Molino to have grown “by leaps and bounds” since he took over as a fledgling administrator in 2006.</p> <p>“You have to credit the city manager for putting the right people in</p>