“I don’t agree with the direction the board has chosen to go with the budgets. That’s not ultimately my choice. My choice is to change my personal life. That’s what I’m doing.”
He said he could withdraw the retirement paperwork before the due date but doesn’t feel he’ll be swayed to do so.
“That’s not my intent.”
Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah), who chairs the County Finance Committee, said the Palmers' decision was unexpected.
“I was a little surprised. I wish them both the very best in their retirement.”
Scozzafava has long insisted the county does not need a county manager.
“The Board of Supervisors, instead of filling the manager position, we need to take a look at the position. I’ve always said I didn’t feel it was needed. An administrative assistant to the chair might be all that’s needed. There’s different options here. You have 18 supervisors and an appointed county manager; it ain’t working.”
Mr. Palmer said he’ll decide after the first of the year what he wants to do with his life.
“I’m not retired from work. I’m just activating my retirement. I asked for Jan. 1, 2013.”
Mr. Palmer was also unhappy that the Board of Supervisors removed department-head raises from the new budget since he believed they were doing a first-class job despite a fiscal crisis in the county.
“I would like to add that I feel very strongly that Essex County has some of the best department heads and management employees working in New York state. Over the last four years, no one in the state has been asked to do more with less than our departments, and I am proud of what they, as a group, have accomplished.
“I appreciate the many years of service that I had working for Essex County, and I hope I had a positive impact.”
Email Lohr McKinstry: email@example.com