Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Steuben County: Mitch Alger talks about his new job

Press release:
BATH – When Mitch Alger stepped into his new office Jan. 1 as Steuben County deputy manager, his chief directive from county Manager Jack Wheeler was "to hit the ground running." A former Allegany County Administrator, Alger has done just that. "I’ve been meeting with all the department heads, getting to see the departments they’re operating. It’s a big operation" he said. "And one of my impressions is just how good they are. We are very lucky to have the people we do." One factor in the luck may be the "home" factor -- many county employees are Steuben natives, as is Alger, who was raised in Bath and graduated from Haverling High School in 2001. Alger also is becoming more familiar with the Steuben’s budget, and all the state programs that are unique to New York. "They take a long time to wrap your head around," Alger said. Wheeler is a great source of support and advice, as is his dad, former county Manager Mark Alger, he said. Mark Alger retired in July after 36 years of public service. "He’s been a mentor, of sorts, all my life, really," Mitch Alger said. "For Jack and myself. He’s a sounding board, and he gives good advice." A graduate of SUNY Fredonia with a Master of Arts in Public Administration from SUNY Albany, Alger has some 10 years of experience in public administration, including four years as deputy county administrator and three years as county administrator in Allegany County. The neighboring counties are remarkably similar, geographically, and with a mix of small cities and towns, and rural residents. However, Steuben typically collaborates with counties to its north and east, while Allegany looks west. That might change if programs or issues come up benefiting both counties, Alger said. "The door is always open," he said.