Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz today announced the completion of his reorganization of the county’s Department of Social Services with the hiring of Marie Cannon as first deputy commissioner for the department.
Poloncarz described Cannon as an experienced administrator with extensive qualifications in human resources. She joins two other recent management hires, Sharon Rochelle as second deputy commissioner and Gary Damon Jr. as deputy commissioner of Youth Services, a division of DSS.
The aim of the reorganization is to better position the county’s largest department to handle increasing poverty levels across the county and to deal more proactively with the rise in caseloads, said Poloncarz.
“This budget-neutral re-engineering of DSS will greatly help our staff to better engage with residents, identify what their needs are along with the resources available to address them, and work with them to achieve independence.” Poloncarz said.
The department reorganization also created a new seven-member Child Protective Services team, following two high-profile, fatal child-abuse cases in Buffalo recently in which CPS has been accused of being slow to respond.
The reorganization plan proposed by Poloncarz was narrowly approved last September by a then-Democratic majority in the County Legislature.