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Otsego County Has New Administrator, Residents Upset With Process

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Otsego County Commissioners voted on a new County Administrator Thursday, but it didn’t come without controversy.

Matt Barresi was selected as the new County Administrator by Otsego County Commissioners Thursday afternoon. Barresi is the current director of the Gaylord Regional Airport.

“It’s an honor to be selected and to be heading up such an incredible county,” Barresi gushes.

However, public comment was heated as some people voiced their frustrations with the consulting firm hired  to fill the role. Although many people said they like Barresi, they say there should’ve been more candidates to choose from.

“If all they could come up with was a man who has been fired for malfeasance, misfeasance, nonfeasance and not welcome where he’s at right now. I think you should get your money back from the consulting firm, because that was a piss poor candidate to put up against Matt Barresi,” An Otsego County resident argued.

Consulting firm, Rehmann, was tasked with finding the candidates. They say 21 people applied for the position and just four had masters and experience in public management. It came down to two finalists Barresi and former City Manager of Gladstone and St. Ignace, Darcy Long. Long was fired as city manager of Gladstone for malfeasance.

The Otsego County Board Chairman, Ken Glasser, says the lack of finalists is due to a lack of applicants.

“You can have a position open for months and months and not find any candidates. Rehmann did a great job bringing numerous candidates,” Glasser states.

However, other commissioners don’t agree. Commissioner Henry Mason was the only vote against Barresi. He suggested waiting until January, as eight out of nine commissioner seats are up for grabs this year.

“Matt Barresi is an excellent Director at the airport and I think he’ll do really well for us. Other concerns, I think I’ll have to keep those to myself.,” Mason says.

Commissioners ultimately decided on a one-year contract for Barresi.

“I’m truly blessed and honored to be working among such incredible people,” Barresi smiles. “I was so fortunate that Gaylord and Otsego County adopted me 15 years ago and I’ll do everything in my power to return that kindness and generosity.”

Barresi will take over for current Administrator Rachel Frisch on her last day Friday.