GLENS FALLS — Some new faces have found themselves in City Hall, while a familiar takes over a familiar role in the mayor’s office.
Pat Dowd, former director of communications for the Lake George Association, has been named the town’s director of community development.
“I have experience writing and managing grants and that’s part of what the job is about right now,” he said.
When Mayor Bill Collins was sworn in on New Years Day, Mike Mender, former special assistant to the mayor, was appointed as director of community development, while Chip McTiernan was appointed to replace him as special assistant. .
McTiernan grew up in Glens Falls. He attended Kensington Road Elementary School, St. Mary’s-St. Alphonsus Regional Catholic School and a graduate of Glens Falls High School.
He moved to Arizona with his wife in 1989 and attended Collins College. For 30 years they stayed in Arizona, where McTiernan worked primarily in information technology.
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He, his wife and two children had made the decision to move back east to be closer to extended family.
“My mother is still there, her mother is still there. His brothers are here, my brothers are here. It just made more sense to go back to Glens Falls.
McTiernan had spent the past two years selling cars at Whiteman Chevrolet. He said he knew Collins before the date and that Collins wanted someone he knew to work alongside him.
After recent developments and discussions between Mender and Collins, it was decided that Mender’s role at City Hall would change.
On March 1, City Council voted to approve a transfer of money, which serves as Mender’s salary, into the “Assistant Mayor’s Personal Services” line of the budget. This will allow Mender to return to the mayor’s office and be an assistant who will serve as the city’s budget manager.
“He’s going to help teach my new deputy mayor about budgeting and work with me to craft the budget for the coming year,” Collins said. “We’re going to expand the ability to try multi-year budgeting.”
Collins said that prior to the decision, this role was going to be included in Mender’s duties as director of community development. This will allow him to devote all his time to this specifically.
Collins said he thought Mender would serve the city better in his new role.
“I realized that Mike Mender’s real strength was as a budget manager,” Collins said. “And I want to take full advantage of his 18 years of experience.”
The position of director of community development is a mayoral appointment, so the Common Council did not have to vote to approve Dowd. Collins said there were discussions between board members and himself prior to Dowd’s appointment.
Collins said he thought Dowd’s experience would make him a good fit for the job.
“He will help us develop and plan a true 21st century community development plan here in Glens Falls,” Collins said.
Before Collins was sworn in, he came up with the idea for the position of Director of Community Development. At the time, he said a number of grants started with Ed Bartholomew, who wore many hats during his time at city hall, including as mayor, and served as director of economic development for the city.
Collins said that due to Bartholomew’s sudden passing, some grants have not been finalized and are at various stages of the process. The role of the Director of Community Development will partly serve to ensure that the city finalizes these grants.
Collins has known Dowd from his days with the LGA and knew Dowd had a history with grant writing, communications and development. He said he knew Dowd was a leader in the community.
“The reason this all happened quickly was because I knew these grants existed and we had a ton of work to do,” Collins said. “And I knew Pat Dowd with his experience would be the guy for the job.”
Jay Mullen is a journalist for The Post Star covering the city of Glens Falls, Warren County and crime and the courts. You can reach him at 518-742-3224 or [email protected]