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Orange County Officials Receive Honors for Completing County Government Institute

NYSAC honored two Orange County officials for graduating from the County Government Institute in a ceremony at the NYSAC Legislative Conference in Albany.
From left: Deborah Slesinski, Mary Pat Smith, Stephen Acquario, Martha Sauerbrey, Cindy Kalweit, Connie Couture
 
The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) this week honored two Orange County officials for graduating from the County Government Institute. Mary Pat Smith, Chief of Staff to the Orange County Executive, and Deborah Slesinski, Orange County Budget Director, were presented certificates of completion in a ceremony at the NYSAC Legislative Conference in Albany this week. 

The program is a collaboration between NYSAC and Cornell University that provides training to county leaders on topics including building consensus, financial management, ethics, management, and the foundations of county government. 

“The County Government Institute has been a wonderfully simple and efficient way to learn the ins and outs of County Government," said Smith. 
 
“The classes and webinars have provided necessary tools and knowledge to help me meet the challenges I face as Budget Director. I would recommend this program to all government officials,” said Slesinski. 
 
Mary Pat Smith has worked for Orange County Government for eleven years, the past 8 of them in County Executive Steve Neuhaus' office, first as Confidential Secretary and, more recently, as Chief of Staff.?? 
 
Deborah Slesinski has worked for Orange County Government for over 25 years, in many different capacities, and has over 30 years of management and fiscal experience in government and private industry. In addition to her role as Budget Director for Orange County, she has served on her local school board and is an active board member of her local Chamber of Commerce.   
 
Empowering county leaders to engage in civil and constructive dialogue on the challenges they face, the Institute serves as a platform throughout the State to meet and discuss the unique issues of county government. 
“Graduates of the County Government Institute demonstrate a commitment to excellence in local public service that is a great asset to them and the communities they serve,” said NYSAC President Martha (Marte) Sauerbrey. “On behalf of our entire association I offer my congratulations to all the graduates.” 
"The County Government Institute provides local leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the increasing demands of local government leadership—now and in the future," said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario. 
CGI courses are offered at Legislative Conference as well as the annual Fall Seminar, and County Finance School in May. Courses are also offered virtually or regionally throughout the year to enable county leaders to stay up-to-date on timely issues and opportunities in local government. 
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Elected and appointed county officials can register for the Institute and actively participate in its programs, policy forums and informational sessions.?For more information about the County Government Institute, visit ?www.nysac.org/cgi.

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