County honors employees of the year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 January 2014 at 12:00 am

Hanlon and Wilson both went ‘above and beyond’ in 2013

Photos by Tom Rivers – Scott Wilson, the Orleans County jail superintendent, and Nadine Hanlon, the clerk of the Legislature, were both named employees of the year for 2013.

ALBION – Two Orleans County employees were recognized for going “above and beyond” the duties in their jobs, earning both “Employees of the Year.”

The county’s Employees Assistance Program picked an Employee of the Year from a pool of 12 employees of the month. Nadine Hanlon, clerk of the Legislature, and Jail Superintendent Scott Wilson were both honored.

Scott Wilson, the jail superintendent, was picked employee of the month in May. He was instrumental in $1 million of construction renovations and improvements at the jail last year.

Five years ago Orleans County officials worried the state was going to force construction of a new $30 million jail in Albion, a cost that would fall squarely on county taxpayers. The jail on Platt Street, built in two stages around 1970, was crowded and falling into disrepair mainly due to water infiltration.

The state Commission of Corrections gave the county the option of upgrading the Platt Street site. Wilson has been jail superintendent since 2011. The facility has been steadily been improved under his watch, with projects requiring careful coordination on his part due to the presence of inmates and staff.

The project was substantially complete by the end of the summer, but Wilson continued to go “above and beyond,” said Jack Welch, the county’s personnel director.

Jail Superintendent Scott Wilson, left, and Orleans County Chief Administrative Officer Chuck Nesbitt stand on a new roof on top of the county jail in this file photo from August. The roof is part of more than $1 million in upgrades at the jail.

Wilson added about 50 video camera s to the jail at no county cost. Those cameras improve the safety for inmates and staff, Welch said.

Wilson also swayed the Legislature to change a policy, having inmates’ medical costs and prescriptions be billed to their private insurance companies if they have insurance. Before, the county always picked up the tab.

Wilson also works with DSS to see if inmates in the jail are on Medicaid. Their medical costs can then be billed to Medicaid, rather than directly to the county. Welch praised Wilson for being “proactive in reducing the jail’s operating costs.”

Wilson has worked 15 years at the jail, starting as a part-time corrections officer. The Lyndonville native worked his way up to sergeant, lieutenant, shift commander and then jail superintendent. Before working at the jail, Wilson served in the Army, including a tour in Desert Storm.

“There is still a lot of work to do,” he said about the jail.

Hanlon, the Legislature’s clerk the past seven years, was recognized as employee of the month in December.

She works with all of the county departments in her role as Legislature clerk, and also helps prepare the agenda for the Legislature’s twice-a-month meetings.

She worked with the Youth Bureau to plan and promote a “Family Fun Night” on Oct. 17, a first time event in Orleans County. Nearly 200 people attended the game night at the fairgrounds. It occurred the same night as the massive fire in Albion at Orleans Pallet.

Nadine Hanlon is shocked when she was awarded “County Employee of the Year” today by Legislature Chairman David Callard, center, and Jack Welch, the county’s personnel director.

The game night gave families a chance to “unplug” from the TV and computers. Hanlon also worked with the departments in the county to set up displays about the services they offer in the county during the game night.

“I thought it was a good opportunity to get families together,” Hanlon said about the event. “This year we have plans to make it bigger and better.”

Welch said Hanlon and Wilson were both recognized because they took on big projects after they had already won the employee of the month.

“When the good stuff floats to the top you have to acknowledge it,” he said.

The following were named employees of the month between October 2012 and September 2013:

Thomas Ashbery in computer services, October; Janet Cheverie, Department of Social Services, November; Nadine Hanlon, clerk of the Legislature, December; Sandra Pszyk, mental health, January; Troy Phillips, buildings and grounds, February;

William Culverwell, buildings and grounds, March; Jeannine Larkin, DSS, April; Scott Wilson, Sheriff’s Department, May; Patrick McGurn, computer services, June; Maria Garcia, mental health, July; Patricia Urquhart, mental health, August; and Ryan Woolston, computer services, September.

The last time two people were named employee of the year was in 2001 when Sharon Ludwick and Jim Niederhofer shared the honor.