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Former emergency management director coming back to Seneca after resolution passes (video)

Melissa Taylor will be coming back to Seneca County.

Seneca Falls Police Chief Stu Peenstra addressed the supervisors voicing his support for Taylor. She served as emergency management director before resigning amid an investigation, which she said was tainted due to turmoil within the former county manager’s administration.

On Tuesday, the supervisors heard from two individuals who support bringing Taylor back; and then introduced a resolution, bringing forward a new local law – to rescind her resignation, and make the position a board appointed one.

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“I’m here to voice my full-support for Melissa Taylor, through her experience and expertise on the job,” he said after the session. “Based on my experience with her in Seneca Falls, as well as everything she has done for this County prior to taking charge of the emergency management department – I feel that she’s a great fit.”

He noted that her experience and work with local law enforcement actually educated him on aspects of the job that he didn’t know about. “I thought the position was driven toward the fire departments and management of the fire emergencies, but it’s not – and she’s proven to be an asset to my department,” he continued. “It’s some of the most-difficult work and she’s proven to be an asset to the entire county.”

Peenstra said that Taylor helped his department through grant opportunities – providing funding methods that otherwise wouldn’t have been discovered. “She was an enormous asset to Seneca Falls,” Peenstra added.

Acting Emergency Management Director Tony DiGiovanni also addressed the supervisors – asking them to ‘act on the opportunity’ to hire Taylor back to Seneca.

“Her goal was to develop a strong emergency management program in Seneca County, and she went to work on that goal from the very beginning,” explained DiGiovanni. “She brought a positive attitude, vision, and an eye to the future. Her strong pursuit for grant funding, along with her desire to seek accreditation was a huge asset.”

DiGiovanni added that losing Taylor was a ‘huge setback’ for the department, and placed a large burden on remaining staff. She also said that losing Taylor shortly before the disastrous flooding in Lodi was also unfortunate. “Melissa would have been a huge asset to the County during this disaster. She had experience working as an emergency manager during one of the worst disasters in U.S. history; and she knows how to handle the disaster declaration firsthand.”

At the start of new business Supervisor Cindy Lorenzetti (D-Fayette) introduced the resolution. “I think it’s in the best interest of Seneca County that we bring Melissa Taylor back,” added Supervisor Paul Kronenwetter (R-Seneca Falls).

The resolution passed unanimously to applause from around the room.

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