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Fulton County treasurer leaving to take school post

Fulton County treasurer leaving to take school post

County Treasurer Bruce Ellsworth announced Friday that he will resign effective Dec. 14 to become th

County Treasurer Bruce Ellsworth announced Friday that he will resign effective Dec. 14 to become the business manager for the Northville Central School District.

According to county officials, Ellsworth’s salary for 2008 is $60,879.

Northville Central School District Board of Education President Lynne Paul said Ellsworth’s new salary has not yet been finalized but it will be “slightly more than what he was making” with the county. She said her school board decided to replace outgoing Business Manager Diana Horton with another in-house business manager rather than contracting with a group of school districts through a central business office operated by Herkimer-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES.

“We had looked at the central business office idea and decided it wasn’t the best fit for us,” Paul said. “Out of the candidates, he was the best fit for Northville. He was a Northville High School graduate. He resides within the village.”

Ellsworth has served Fulton County as its elected treasurer for 17 years. He began his career with the county in 1986 as an appointed deputy treasurer.

Fulton County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Ellsworth had three years remaining in his four-year term of office.

“My understanding is [he would need to be replaced] by gubernatorial appointment, if the governor were to choose to do so,” Stead said.

Both Ellsworth and Fulton County Deputy Treasurer Mark Ellithorpe were unavailable for comment Friday. Stead said he was uncertain if Ellithorpe might become the county’s interim treasurer if there is a gap after Ellsworth leaves Dec. 14 and whenever the governor appoints a successor. He said the county will benefit from having Ellsworth as treasurer for most of its budget process this year.

“The treasurer is really the county’s chief financial officer, responsible for the funds and the investments of the county. Because of that they are a critical adviser during the budget process,” Stead said.

In a statement released Friday, Ellsworth highlighted the decision of Moody’s Investors Service to upgrade Fulton County’s bond rating from Baa1 to A3 in 2005 as one of the achievements he’s proud of during his tenure as treasurer.

“The upgrade reflects the county’s strong financial position that has been maintained despite the challenges facing all New York counties,” Ellsworth stated in his release.

Michael Gendron, Gloversville 3rd Ward supervisor and a member of the county finance committee, said he knew Ellsworth had been a finalist for the Northville business manager position. He said his departure will be a loss for Fulton County.

“I think it will be very difficult to replace someone with his knowledge of the county. Bruce always had the information you needed. He was very proficient in his job and he had a great working relationship with the supervisors for the 12 years I was with him,” Gendron said.

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