Chautauqua County is in need of new leadership for its Industrial Development Agency and Department of Planning and Economic Development.
William Daly, administrative director and CEO of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency and director of the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development, announced that he will be retiring, effective May 31.
Daly became director on Jan. 1, 2006, after being appointed by then-County Executive Greg Edwards.
During his eight years with the agency, Daly has overseen 54 business loans totaling more than $14 million, closed on 20 payments in lieu of taxes agreements with annual tax payments of $11 million and issued $103 million in tax exempt bonds supporting five projects valued at more than $235 million.
According to County Executive Vince Horrigan, Daly notified him of the decision over the weekend.
"Bill called me this weekend and informed me; he made the decision that it's time for him to retire," Horrigan said. "This is a very, very challenging job, and these are challenging times. I respect his decision to retire.
"I want to thank Bill Daly for his dedication and service to the citizens of Chautauqua County," Horrigan continued. "Bill skillfully guided the reins of Chautauqua County economic development during a very challenging time in our nation's history and has developed highly successful relationships with our area businesses and economic development community. His tenure of service is one that he can be very proud of."
Daly was involved with notable development projects within the county, including the relocation of Maplevale Farms to Allen Street in Falconer, the retention of the SKF Aeroengine plant in Ellicott, the retention and expansion of ECR International in Dunkirk, the retention of Weber-Knapp in Jamestown and negotiating the current payments in lieu of taxes agreements that kept the NRG plant in Dunkirk, according to a recent press release.
Daly said he has been thinking about retiring for some time.
"It's a gigantic job. People probably see 5 percent of what we do - we'll have 50 project possibilities happening simultaneously," Daly said. "What we've accomplished is quite spectacular.
"I love this community," Daly continued. "Our board of directors and staff are phenomenal and the county legislature has been very cooperative and treated us wonderfully."
Daly added that he may explore new opportunities in the area.
According to Edwards, most people would not guess that last year Daly turned 65.
"We have worked side by side for eight years. I know that there are many things he wants to do in his life," Edwards said. "I wish Bill all the best. His record is significant - he is recognized statewide for planning and economic development. He has created more economic development than any other director of the Industrial Development Agency - approaching $1 billion."
Edwards said that at the infancy of his campaign for County Executive, he approached Daly about the director position because of Daly's impressive track record.
"He was a natural for the job," Edwards said. "He understands the worlds of business and finance and makes an excellent team member."
Edwards added that May 31 is a significant date, marking six months since Horrigan was elected County Executive.
"It takes that long to get a good sense of the job," Edwards said, noting that it is not unusual to allow newly elected officials time to acclimate to their positions before key figures affecting the positions retire.
"I'm thrilled that Bill is able to close this chapter in his life and begin a new one," Edwards said.
Horrigan said that he will be looking region-wide for the next director of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.
"I have already started to work on a search committee to look for experts in this field. It will take time to get the best possible person - we're looking to keep the leadership strong," he said.
Horrigan added that the county will most likely need to hire an interim director, as it is unlikely potential candidates could begin by June 1.
The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency is focused on attracting, retaining and building capacity in Chautauqua County businesses.
The Department of Planning and Economic Development supports the promotion of growth, responsible allocation of resources, protecting the environment and promoting a high quality of life for Chautauqua County residents.