A public relations professional who managed Michael Zurlo’s successful campaign last year for Saratoga County sheriff is in line to become the county’s new emergency services director.
Carl Zeilman of Ballston Lake has also been a long-time volunteer firefighter. He is currently a member of the Round Lake Hose Company, and was previously a firefighter in Colonie.
Zeilman’s appointment as emergency services director was recommended last week by the Board of Supervisors’ Personnel and Insurance Committee. If the appointment is approved by the full board later this month, he will succeed Paul Lent as emergency services director.
Everyone on the Personnel Committee is Republican, as is Zurlo. The county board is also overwhelmingly Republican, though the Personnel Committee chairwoman said Zeilman was selected on merit.
“Basically, Carl has a tremendous background in firefighting and emergency services,” said Personnel Committee Chairwoman Anita M. Daly, R-Clifton Park.
Zeilman is currently director of communications for the Associated General Contractors of New York State, and public affairs officer for the United States Navy Reserve.
Last fall, he managed Zurlo’s successful campaign to be elected the county’s first new sheriff in 41 years.
Zeilman declined to comment on Monday pending his final appointment by the Board of Supervisors. Zurlo also declined to comment while the matter is pending before supervisors.
The director of emergency services position has been vacant since December, after former director Paul Lent was elected Galway town supervisor.
Daly said the county received nine applications and four people were interviewed before Zeilman was selected.
She said Zeilman’s work on the Zurlo campaign will prove a benefit. “He has been all through Saratoga County and knows the needs of the people, the fire districts and commissioners, and that will be critical going forward for the director of emergency services,” Daly said.
Zeilman was with the Fuller Road Fire Department in Colonie from 2004 to 2012, holding positions including rescue captain.
He was also an Albany County legislator representing the town of Colonie from 2008 to 2011.
He has an undergraduate degree in political science from the University at Albany and a master’s degree in public health administration from The Sage Colleges Graduate School.
He will earn the base salary for emergency services director, which is $67,964 annually, according to the county Personnel Department.
The county emergency services director coordinates the county’s response to emergency situations, including flooding and other natural disasters, and often acts as a media spokesperson during incidents.
The office oversees the radio communications system used by police, fire and emergency medical personnel. It also manages the county’s 911 address data base.