Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin announced the selection of Nicholas Blais as county Budget Director.
The selection of Blais is expected to be confirmed by the County Legislature at the legislative meeting on Tuesday.
“We are fortunate to be able to attract someone with Nick’s experience and energy and look forward to working with him in this important area. As a native of Rensselaer County, Nick knows the issues, opportunities and challenges facing our county, along with experience formulating and reviewing municipal budgets,” said McLaughlin.
If confirmed, Blais would replace longtime Budget Director Stacey Farrar, who is retiring following a career of over 30 years with the county, including service as Budget Director starting in 2007.
Blais recently worked as Chief of Staff to Albany County Comptroller Susan Rizzo. Prior to that service, he worked for the City of Albany as Acting Budget Director. He held a variety of positions in the budget office for the City of Albany. He also worked for the New York State Assembly in a research position.
As County Executive, McLaughlin has focused on protecting taxpayers, strengthening needed county services and attracting new investment and growth. Each of McLaughlin’s budgets as County Executive has included a property tax reduction, including a record 10 percent reduction for the 2022 county budget.
County property taxes have been reduced by over 25 percent during the past five years, and county taxpayers now pay a rate similar to what was paid in 2002. County services have been expanded, including a plan to move a number of county offices to East Greenbush, a new Troy senior center is under construction, restoration work continuing at the County Court House and work being completed on a new county emergency services training complex.
“Rensselaer County has become a leader in the state in reducing property taxes and expanding services. We recognize the importance that lower taxes plays and stronger services play in attracting new investment in our county, and that work will continue to be a priority in the coming months,” said McLaughlin.
Farrar will continue in a part-time role with the county, consulting on specific areas of the county budget and finance services.
“Nick has experience with county finances and budgets, municipal budgets and fiscal management. I am confident he will do a good job for the residents of the county, and continue the work we started to protect taxpayers and services,” said Farrar.