Planning department ready for new year

Mraz will continue as consultant at $50 hour; Henze will take lead roll

James Mraz

James Mraz

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County Planning Director James Mraz retires Jan. 12, but is expected to continue working for county government as a consultant.

Mraz is also set to retain his job as executive director of the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency.

The county already announced Mraz will retire Jan. 12. He currently earns about $82,000 per year as county planning director. He is being replaced Jan. 15 by county planner Scott Henze.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Tuesday that Mraz — who has served the planning department for decades — will be the subject of a resolution at the next Board of Supervisors meeting. The board meets at 1 p.m. Monday at the County Office Building.

The resolution calls for the county to contract with Mraz for 2018 as a consultant for the planning department after he retires.

“The proposal is for $50 per hour, not to exceed $30,000 for the year,” Stead said.

Stead said the resolution proposing to hire Mraz as a consultant has gone through at least two board committees — the Buildings and Grounds/Highway Committee and the Finance Committee.

“The concept was discussed with the committees in the summer,” Stead said.

A desire by county government to hire one of its longtime department heads is not unprecedented. Former, longtime Fulton County Solid Waste Director Jeffrey Bouchard has been serving as a county consultant for three years. His contract was extended in September through the end of 2018.

Mraz said Tuesday that his consulting work for the planning department will help address two areas — assisting Henze and addressing many pending county economic development projects.

He said he will be working to “wrap up some projects to help Scott with the transition.”

Some of those projects include the lighting project at the County Airport, among others.

“I’m going to try to help as I can,” Mraz said.

Mraz will also continue his part-time work as executive director of the IDA — something he has been doing for the last several years. For 2017, Mraz is receiving an annual IDA salary of $20,352 on top of his county government salary.

At the IDA’s organizational meeting early next year, Mraz said the agency may reappoint him for 2018. But he said that work may be only for “a short period of time” until the IDA hires a new executive director.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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