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Rooney retiring as Schenectady County manager

Rooney retiring as Schenectady County manager

Rooney has spent 32 years with county
Rooney retiring as Schenectady County manager
Kathleen Rooney presents the budget at the Schenectady County Legislature in this 2012 file photo
Photographer: Gazette file photo

SCHENECTADY -- Schenectady County Manager Kathleen Rooney will retire in April, the county Legislature announced Thursday.

Rooney has served in the crucial position since 2005, overseeing preparation and administration of annual county budgets, as well as the day-to-day operations of the county. 

“Kathy Rooney has capably served the residents of Schenectady County for 32 years, the past 13 years as county manager,” said Anthony Jasenski, D-Rotterdam, chairman of the County Legislature.  “She built an exceptional team that helped guide our county through challenging economic times as we transformed Schenectady County into a sought-after business and tourist destination. We will miss her commitment and dedication to improving our community and wish her well in retirement.”

Rooney began her career with Schenectady County as a graduate school management intern in 1985 and later served as management assistant, assistant to the county manager and assistant county manager. She left county government for a short time to serve as regional director of Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth, but returned when she was named county manager in 2005.

She earns about $155,000 annually.

"It has been an honor to have served the residents of Schenectady County. My time with Schenectady County, especially the past 13 years as manager, has been truly gratifying," Rooney said in a prepared statement. "It has been my great pleasure to work with dedicated elected officials, an exceptional management team and very talented and dedicated county employees and community partners. I have loved this job and the fabulous people I have gotten to work with. Together we have had many accomplishments, and I am proud to have been a part of this great community.”

When Rooney was hired, she replaced Kevin DeFebbo, who was county manager from 1999 to 2005. Before him, Robert McEvoy served as county manager for 23 years.

"She is very trustworthy. You could always have extraordinary confidence that if she gave you information it was accurate to the best of her knowledge," said Legislature Majority Leader Gary Hughes, D-Schenectady. "Kathy deserved a lot of credit for the reorganization the county has done over the last 13 years, as we have consolidated departments and we have reduced the number of employees."

She was always good at strategic planning, "and she's a really nice person to deal with."

In the coming weeks, the county Legislature will establish a process for hiring the next manager, officials said. Rooney has offered the county flexibility in her actual retirement date so that she can assist with the transition.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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