Earlier this month, the Wayne County Commissioners announced some significant staff changes to the …
HONESDALE, PA — Earlier this month, the Wayne County Commissioners announced some significant staff changes to the local government in the near future. Business manager John Haggarty, who has worked for the county for 40 years, will be retiring on July 3, 2020. The commissioners have created a new position, which will encompass Haggarty’s duties and create a new computerized accounting and reporting system, intended to streamline the county’s financial operations.
The commissioners released the following statement regarding his retirement and the new position: “Wayne County Business Manager John Haggarty has submitted his retirement notification letter, with an anticipated retirement date of July 23, 2020. This letter brings mixed emotions for all. We are very excited for Haggarty and his next stage of life, after 40 years of exceptional service to the county and our citizens. Haggarty has been a capable, consistent and caring public servant… He shared his retirement intent with the commissioners over seven months ago.
Discussions for succession planning were started as we were concerned with how to operate in the future without his institutional knowledge, and [we’re] extremely thankful for the lead time to address and plan for what we were going to do in the future.
“Vicky Botjer, our chief clerk for over 15 years, has expressed interest in being promoted to the position soon to be vacated by Haggarty. With Botjer’s interest and our desire to maximize the opportunity to continue to strengthen county operations in light of the changes coming, the commissioners sought to come up with a solution that could harness the capabilities, experiences and strengths of people and set us up with a new structure to move forward.
“Effective January 6, 2020 we will promote Botjer to become our new chief financial officer. In addition to Haggarty’s duties as business manager, Botjer will lead to integrate our entire financial system, including the human services area, into a county-wide computerized accounting and reporting system and to continue the development of a county-wide Human Resources Department. Botjer’s vast public accounting background as a CPA in addition to her experience as chief clerk for 15 years makes her the absolute ideal candidate for this new position.
“Over the seven-month timeframe, the commissioners sought out multiple individuals to [replace Botjer as chief clerk]. After many months of discussion and planning, we are proud to announce the intent to appoint Andrew Seder as our chief clerk effective January 6, 2020. Seder has an extensive background in governmental business as the regional representative for PA State Sen. Lisa Baker. He has worked for over six years in Baker’s Wayne/Pike County offices and has been directly involved in many joint successful projects with Wayne County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Seder is formally educated and experienced in communications and media and resides in Wayne County. He has worked with many local, state and federal officials in the past that will directly contribute to the ability of the county to tap into future financial opportunities to further economic development and service the needs of Wayne County.”
At their public meeting on December 19, each of the commissioners praised Haggarty for his job performance and his loyalty as a friend.
“I was a business manager for 13 years; God bless you for 40,” Commissioner Joe Adams said. “It’s a brutally difficult, complex area to try to deal with.”
County chairman Brian Smith and commissioner Wendell Kay both have known and worked with Haggarty for many years. “A good friend of mine, Tony Herzog, told me 12 years ago, ‘Stick close to John Haggarty; he’ll never do you wrong,’ and I’ve found that to be right on the money,” Smith said. Kay, who has known Haggarty since they were both teenagers, agreed with that comment and added a compliment—which he called the highest praise a county employee can receive—“He’ll never hurt you.”
Botjer, who first began working for the county as an intern under Haggarty’s supervision, said that she is slightly nervous for the next six months, as she begins taking on Haggarty’s responsibilities, but said that it is a step in the right direction for the county.
Haggarty thanked his many coworkers from throughout his tenure as well as the residents of Wayne County for allowing him to serve them. “I’ve had a good ride over the past 40 years. I’ve enjoyed coming to work every day. I have no problem getting out of bed, coming to work to do my job.”