Second Deputy Position Funded Through Elimination of Two Office Positions
Broome County Executive Jason Garnar announced Monday the appointment of Colleen Wagner and Michael Ponticiello as Deputy County Executives. Wagner has worked as Acting Deputy County Executive since the retirement of Kevin McManus in April; Ponticiello has served as Director of Broome County’s Office of Emergency Services since 2017.
“Broome County is about to embark on one of its busiest stretches in history,” Garnar said. “With tens of millions of dollars from the federal government for COVID relief, millions more available from the State once again, and the continued allocation of monies already received - like the Greater Binghamton Fund - we will have dozens of projects in the works. Colleen and Michael bring the experience we need to help manage all of this, plus the day-to-day functions of county government.”
“I understand the critical role of county government in providing for the safety and well-being of Broome County’s residents and businesses,” said Deputy County Executive Wagner. “Having worked for three different County Executives, I have firsthand experience with natural disasters, financial crises, and public health crises like the opioid epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic. I am honored by this opportunity to continue serving the people of Broome County in my new role, and I look forward to working with our legislature, department heads and other county agencies.”
“I am thrilled to be joining County Executive Garnar’s leadership team,” says Deputy County Executive Michael Ponticiello. “I believe my experiences managing large projects and many disasters will help Broome County Government better serve the people who live here. Just like in my previous role, I will continue working to make Broome County a more resilient place where we can all live, work, and play.”
The second Deputy County Executive position has been unfunded since 2015. Two lower-level positions within the County Executive’s Office that have been unfilled were eliminated to once again fund the second Deputy position. Last week, the County Legislature unanimously approved this budgetary move; Wagner’s and Ponticiello’s appointments are also subject to approval by the Legislature.
Wagner has 12 years of experience working in the County Executive’s Office and has also worked in city government as well as in the human services sector. Most recently, she served as Executive Assistant to the County Executive and helped guide Broome County through one of its most challenging years during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After more than 13 years working in the County’s Office of Emergency Services, the last four-and-a-half as Director, Ponticiello has begun transitioning to his new role as Deputy County Executive. He too has been a central figure in the County’s response to COVID-19, helping manage testing clinics and vaccination efforts over the last year. Additionally, Ponticiello oversaw the $25 million upgrade to the County’s communications system and the construction of a new Emergency Services training center. The Office of Emergency Services responded to numerous natural disasters under his leadership.
Wagner and Ponticiello will work directly with the County’s more than 40 departments to help guide their projects and services. Human services will be handled by Wagner, while Ponticiello will deal with physical services.