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Lake and Valley Clarion NewspaperGenesee Country MagazineClarion Communications

County Government Heats Up

The second issue of The Clarion, dated May 18, 1989, reported an event very significant to Livingston County government: the arrival of the first county administrator, Dominic Mazza.

Since 1984, county government had been under the control of a Republican-Democratic coalition led by Avon Supervisor Jim Steele and Geneseo Supervisor Walter Kingston. Kingston had a vision for the ultimate streamlining of local government: the abandonment of village and town governments, with all public services administered by efficient county-level departments.

Kingston had taken his first step towards that vision in 1986, when, with difficulty, he convinced a conservatively minded Board of Supervisors to commence computerization of county record keeping. The hiring of Mazza placed one individual at the nerve center of the county government, setting the stage for controlled, efficient expansion.

Among other new departments added to county government during the 1989-90 period were Economic Development, headed by Patrick Rountree, and Solid Waste, headed by Catherine Muscarella. Economic Development, and its affiliate Livingston County Industrial Development Agency, would continue to play an ever-more important role in county economic growth as the decade progressed.

In contrast, Solid Waste went through a period of initial frantic activity, while individual town-based recycling and transfer stations were organized, and then passed from the scene as an entity of significance. County government opted for private collection and dismissed ideas about operating its own landfill and/or burner in conjunction with the four-county GLOW alliance.

Today Muscarella has been assigned a more prominent role as head of the county Public Works department. In that function she serves as the administrative arm of the ever-growing Livingston County Water & Sewer Authority, in the analogous manner that Rountree serves as the administrative arm for the LCIDA. (See story page 9)

Since the previous century, the Livingston County Board of Supervisors and Livingston County clerk had occupied the prominent court house at the north end of the Village of Geneseo. Increasing court space needs were pressing the government's clerical and legislative space as functions expanded in the 1980s and early 1990s. Furthermore, the county was leasing a variety of other scattered locations for its various new departments, computer center and motor vehicle functions. There was a real need for new, larger quarters.

The January 17, 1991 Clarion reported that the county was considering construction of a new $10.4 million four story office building. After consideration of two ultimately rejected site options (next to the Main Street Armory and in the Skilled Nursing Route 20A complex) the building was sited on acreage overlooking the Genesee Valley. The groundbreaking was featured in the Clarion of August 22, 1991. Dedication was January 27, 1993.

With the supervisors' chambers and many departments now located in the new Government Center Building, on July 29, 1993 the Clarion reported a $3.25 million supervisors' authorization for improvements to the Courthouse. That structure would henceforth house only court related functions in a more secure setting.

While renovations were underway, court temporarily located to the XLM building in Avon. By late 1995 court functions were back in a renovated court house. The new court building, government center and sheriff's facilities, served by two spacious parking lots, today comprise the "Livingston County Complex."


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