Reflects on First Months
By TED MEBUST
COOPERSTOWN – Steve Wilson, having assumed the appointed role of county administrator in August of this year, has had a rather quiet transition into Otsego County government. Having previously done the same job in Schoharie County, he’s applied learned lessons to the situation here.
“Initially, my role is to define the role, because it didn’t previously exist in Otsego County,” he explained. “This involves, among other things, trying to understand how we operate, how we operate, meeting a lot of people, finding out what each department is contributing, and seeing how we can maximize efficiency and get the most out of county government. In my last role in Schoharie County, I established a community-based facilitative role with the electorate, a plan I will continue here.”
One of the major components to the county administrator job, he explained, is raising issue-specific information to the county board, based on interactions with county department heads.
“I am a finance and budget guy,” Wilson shared. “When the opportunity to work for Otsego County came around, it piqued my interest as I thought it would be interesting to solve problems here.”
The self-proclaimed “nerd” for solving issues and increasing productivity said it’s “too early to tell” what the biggest challenges for Otsego County will be going forward. Before working at the county level, Wilson spent three decades as an employee of the federal government, and some time as a journalist before then.
While the role has yet to yield major challenges, Wilson has reviewed the budget process and observed proceedings for the recent $136.7 million county budget passage for 2023. At an upcoming county board meeting on December 7, he plans to introduce a “non-controversial,” alternative budget approach that “will be an improvement” for the process next year.
“It’s a very pleasant place to work,” said Wilson of his experience so far in Otsego County. “Everyone is very kind.”