Orleans and Genesee will share Weights and Measures director

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 January 2020 at 9:31 am

Ronald P. Mannella has worked as Orleans director past 2 years

ALBION – Orleans and Genesee counties will expand their shared services in the Health Department, with the counties having the same Weights and Measures director.

Ronald P. Mannella

Ronald P. Mannella has served in the role in Orleans County the past two years. Genesee County’s director recently left the post to take a job with the state. The two counties have crafted an arrangement where Mannella would head the department in both counties, with Genesee paying 60 percent of the costs and Orleans, 40 percent. Mannella’s weekly hours will increase from 35 to 40 due to the increased workload.

The arrangement offers significant cost savings for both counties, by each not having to pay the full costs for a director.

“We’re confident with Ron and his abilities,” said Paul Pettit, the public health director for the two counties.

The Orleans County Legislature approved the 5-year agreement last month and Genesee is expected to approve it next week.

The two counties first shared a public health director, Pettit, beginning 8 years ago. They have added more shared administrative staff since then, and also have a shared Board of Health.

Although they share some positions, the two counties still have independent public health departments.

Weights and Measures used to be a standalone department, but was moved under public health in each county about two years ago following the retirements of long-time Weights and Measures directors – Craig Lape in Orleans County and Don Luxon in Genesee.

Moving Weights and Measures to the health department provided the director, the only employee in the department, with administrative and support staff in the health department, Pettit said.

Weights and Measures checks weights, distances and volumes of products that are sold to consumers. Orleans County each year does annual inspections of scales and meters, ensuring fairness for consumers and also businesses. (The county seal from Weight and Measures is prominent on gas pumps in the county, for example.)

“The whole goal is to provide consumer protection, to make sure you’re getting what you paid for,” Pettit said. “It also benefits businesses to make sure they’re not giving away too much product.”

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