By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO July 8, 2005 After more than four months of operating without a Commissioner of Public Works, the Sullivan County Legislatures Public Works Committee approved former commissioner Robert Meyer to replace former commissioner Peter Lilholt, who retired last February after being asked to resign.
Meyer will take the helm part-time until August 1, when he begins full-time. His salary has not yet been approved.
He was brought back to the department in April to work as a consultant on a part-time basis and assisted County Manager Dan Briggs and Commissioner of General Services Harvey Smith in running the department.
Meyer began his work with the county in 1980 as a civil engineer. He worked at the airport and eventually became an engineering supervisor.
From 1993-1994, he served as commissioner of the Department of Public Works. He left office and went to work for Orange County as the commissioner for environmental facilities and services for five years. He then left there to work in the private sector as an engineering consultant, operating his business out of Monticello.
A Narrowsburg resident, Meyer is also the Democrats longtime Meyer On the Internet columnist.
Meyer will oversee roughly 250 DPW employees. He has begun discussions with county management for stricter checks and balances, which will regulate the flow of materials in and out of the department.
The department is currently awash in a deep scandal involving misappropriated DPW funds for personal use, theft of DPW property, and allegations that top DPW staff broke into the county personnel office, amongst other charges. Meyer is not involved in those issues.
Aside from Lilholt's resignation, three other DPW employees have been suspended. A hearing for two of them will continue July 15 at 9 a.m. at the Lawrence Cooke Courthouse in Monticello.