When it came time for the Warren County Commissioners to find a new person to head up the county's fiscal department, they looked to a familiar face.
"Today we hired a fiscal director - Mr. Paul Pascuzzi," Commissioner John Bortz said on Monday. "We're very excited about having Mr. Pascuzzi work for us."
Pascuzzi has been an active participant in government for decades. He is vice chairman of the county's redevelopment authority and is president of Clarendon Borough Council.
But he is not only familiar with the ins and outs of government.
He has a bachelor's degree in accounting, an MBA, and a certificate of finance from Gannon University and the experience to match the education.
Pascuzzi had retired within the past year from the financial department at OSRAM Sylvania. "While I was there, I made many progressive job moves within the financial ranks, including being the financial controller for the Warren operation," he said.
"He has a strong background in finance and administration and particularly understands the workings of municipal government," Bortz said. "We feel very fortunate to have him become part of the team."
Pascuzzi sees it as his next challenge.
"Since I left, and I am still fairly young, I continued to search for what I would consider my second career," he said.
He had in mind moving into the county fiscal director position, if it were to become available.
"I look forward to being the financial steward for the county," he said. "It is something that I had targeted when I decided to leave Sylvania."
Pascuzzi knew the position would be a good fit "with my financial background and the work that I've done with 30 years of being a municipal official."
While he would like to maintain his positions in government, he has asked if he legally may.
"When I accepted the position, I asked that they consult their solicitor," Pascuzzi said. "I don't want to have any conflicts."
Pascuzzi is not the only person new to the office and, despite his qualifications, he will not walk into the office up to speed.
The salary board, which approved Pascuzzi's hiring Monday, also approved the hiring of Lisa Thompson as the new fiscal assistant. Thompson will start on Monday and replaces Carol Nicholson.
"We want to start getting her into the meat of her work," Bortz said. As Monday is a payroll day, it made sense to have Thompson on board at that time.
Purchasing Agent Marga Morrison is the only member of the fiscal department who will remain on board.
"Our new hires will be working side-by-side our existing staff," Bortz said. "Furthermore, both Mr. Rohlin and Ms. Nicholson have indicated their willingness to make themselves available on an as-needed basis moving forward, thus ensuring continuity of service within this very valuable function."
Pascuzzi will start on March 10 and work with Rohlin for about four weeks. They have already talked about the arrangement.
"That gives us time to set up a work station for him while I am sitting at the controls," Pascuzzi said. "He'll be an advisor while I'm learning the ropes."
Homework is part of those ropes. "He shared with me their financial policies and their purchasing policies," Pascuzzi said.
The time will also allow for some other, external transitions, including making "sure the banks are up to speed," he said. Rohlin was involved in the selection process for his successor. The commissioners decided on Pascuzzi after a second round of interviews and added Rohlin to the interview board for the hiring of the new fiscal assistant.
"The quality work Mr. Toby Rohlin, Carol Nicholson, and Marga Morrison do for Warren County keeping the financial matters in top working order... there's no doubt Mr. Pascuzzi and Ms. Thompson have very big shoes to fill," Bortz said. "We are very confident that they are up to the task."
"We are looking forward to a good transition and a smooth future," Commissioner Chairman Stephen Vanco said.