I think the BOS got it straight tonight.
The board of supervisors voted unanimously tonight to rescind the EMO's resignation and allow her to return on Monday.
Taylor back as Seneca County Emergency Management Director
By DAVID L. SHAW
WATERLOO — Melissa Taylor
will resume her position as Seneca
County director of emergency management
The Seneca County Board of Supervisors
voted 13-0 Tuesday to
honor Taylor’s request to withdraw
her July 3 resignation letter and
to consider the period of July 3 to
Nov. 19 as an unpaid leave of absence,
allowing her to return to her
The board recently approved
a local law giving it the power to
appoint the director of emergency
management, an appointment
formerly designated to the county
Taylor’s original appointment
was made by former County Manager
John Sheppard following the
death of former director Charles
McCann. But Taylor and Sheppard
clashed earlier this year and Sheppard
suggested she be investigated.
Before that took place, Taylor
resigned and took a job in Texas.
Deputy Director Toni DiGiovine became
acting EM director. Some supervisors
felt strongly that Taylor
did a good job and took the step of
taking over the authority to make
that appointment and worked to
convince her to return.
During public comment, Seneca
Falls Police Chief Stu Peenstra
noted that the emergency management
director position is open and
he and his department support
Taylor returning “based on past experience
in working with us.”
“I felt that position was primarily
for fire management and was
driven that way. I didn’t know it
should deal with all emergency
services and she proved to have
expertise in all emergency situations.
She was very helpful to our
department, including helping us
get grants. It would be helpful to
me and town residents to hire her
back,” Peenstra said.
DiGiovine then spoke, urging the
board to bring back Taylor as director.
She praised Taylor’s expertise,
leadership and abilities, saying
Taylor was excellent at seeking
grants and working for accreditation
for the department. “It was a
huge setback to the department
when she left. It was a burden for
three of us to fill her shoes,” she
She said had Taylor been on the
job when the catastrophic flooding
in Lodi took place in August, the
county would have been much better
able to deal with it.
“It would be a big relief to bring
her back. No one is more qualified
than her. She knows the county
and is well respected,” DiGiovine
Later, under new business, Fayette
Supervisor Cindy Lorenzetti
thanked DiGiovine and department
members Brandi Godley and
Jeff Case for their efforts since
She then made a motion to waive
a requirement that her motion go
to committee first. That passed
“It would be in the county’s best
interest to have her come back,”
said Paul Kronenwetter, R-Seneca
Sheppard left in August after
an independent audit of county
finances for 2017 found major discrepancies.
The board formed a special committee
on investigations to look
into Sheppard’s actions as well as
those of former Finance Director
That committee directed the
Sheriff’s Department and Senior
Investigator Tim Thompson to conduct
an investigation into possible
malfeasance by Sheppard and
Thompson and others met in executive
session with the board to
get an update on the investigation.
Undersheriff John Cleere said the
plan is to complete the investigation
by the end of the year.
In other action, the board voted
to send a motion authorizing the
acquisition of the Route 414 sewer
line from the county Industrial
Development Agency back to the
Public Works Committee for further
I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say "Hey look, that one is shaped like an idiot."