CANTON An Ogdensburg man plans to accept the St. Lawrence County emergency services director position the Board of Legislators offered him.
Joseph Gilbert said he plans to hit the ground running in May.
I am excited, Mr. Gilbert said. Its a great opportunity.
County Administrator Karen St. Hilaire emailed the legislators Friday evening to inform them of Gilberts decision.
Legislator Daniel F. Parker, R-Potsdam, who headed the search committee, said the panel sent the recommendation to Ms. St. Hilaire.
Mr. Parker would not say who else was interviewed for the position and declined to comment further.
Mr. Gilbert works as a defense coordinator on Fort Drum and said he is very familiar with how to prepare for a disaster.
Ninety-eight percent of all the work that happens is preparation, he said. You cant wait until the disaster happens.
He said his first step is do an assessment of the county before he sets any goals or makes any changes.
Board Chairwoman Sallie A. Brothers, D-Norfolk, said some legislators found out about Mr. Gilbert through the media.
I dont know how it was leaked, she said. Im quite impressed with (Mr. Gilbert).
Ms. Brothers said she is happy the county can move on after the controversy surrounding Martin Hassetts resignation in February. After resigning, Mr. Hassett hired an attorney in an attempt to get his job back.
Ms. St. Hilaire denied Mr. Hassetts requests to withdraw his resignation and grant him a name-clearing hearing. Ms. Brothers said she expects Mr. Gilbert to be appointed May 7 and begin working the next day.