The City of Ithaca will soon have a new face in the mayor's office. The first ever Chief of Staff has been selected and will begin working at city hall later this year. YNN's Tamara Lindstrom introduces us to the man who will soon take over many of the mayor's responsibilities.
ITHACA, N.Y. -- When Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick put out the call for a new Chief of Staff, Kevin Sutherland was intrigued.
"There's a lot of energy going on in the city and I'm interested in getting involved in that side of it," Sutherland said.
A Central New York native, Sutherland attended SUNY Oswego and earned his Master's in public administration from Syracuse University before beginning his current role as executive assistant to the Tompkins County administrator.
"I've been responsible for the annual budget, working with departments to work with their annual budgets and try to come up with solutions from year to year," Sutherland said.
Tasks that are similar to what he'll take on as the first ever Chief of Staff in city hall. Sutherland will also be responsible for performance management and collaborations within the city. Myrick announced his appointment this week.
"With the county, I've met a lot of great people. I've worked with a lot of great departments. A lot of people are very committed to public service. And that's what this role is about, public service," Sutherland said. "There's a lot of great people at the city I haven't met yet, who I'm really looking forward to working with and finding ways to help them."
While Sutherland doesn't yet know all the details of what the new job will entail, he says the position was created to allow the mayor more time to spend with the public.
"I think that this role is to help him transfer some of the internal work that has to be done or collaborations that need to take place to this role, giving him more freedom to work directly with the public," Sutherland said.
The full time mayor currently earns about $53,000 a year. The mayor's 2014 proposed budget calls for $70,000 for the new chief of staff position.
Sutherland will wait until the county budget is complete before making the move to city hall.
"I live in Fall Creek, so this is going to double my commute from three blocks to six blocks," he said.
His first challenge and one Sutherland is confident he can meet.
Sutherland expects to begin working as Chief of Staff in December.