Christopher Moss’ first day as Chemung County Executive

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After 30 years with the Chemung County Sheriff’s office, Christopher Moss began a new chapter of his life on Wednesday, officially starting as the Chemung County Executive.

After receiving 55 percent of the votes in a hotly-contested three-way race last November, Moss says he doesn’t expect many changes, but he plans on being hands-on in his new role.

“We started bright and early this morning so we’re looking forward to it,” said Moss in a makeshift office. His permanent, much larger office is just through the door, but that room is undergoing renovations after Tom Santulli spent several decades on the job.

For now, Moss has a small desk with a desktop, laptop, and iPad at his disposal. Directly behind him is a large mounted black bear he shot in Maine and a picture from his days at the Sheriff’s Department.

“Yesterday was very tough leaving the Sheriff’s Office,” said Moss, but he’s already made some big changes the county level.

Last month he fired several key figures in the county, including the head of Elmira-Corning Regional Airport and the Commissioner of Social Services. Moss says he’s in the interview process with candidates for those jobs and hopes to fill them soon.

According to a new study, people in New York are leaving at a rapid pace, and Moss has ideas for keeping people, especially younger people, in Chemung County through job development programs. 

“I think we really need to look at how we’re training young people for jobs that are going to be available in this area. We’re training people for jobs they’re going to have to leave this area for does that really make a lot of sense?” 

Meanwhile at the John H. Hazlett Building Moss has rearranged some of the floors, moving all of the financial offices to one floor.

As for his agenda for the first 30 days of his administration, Moss wants to propose term limits for his job and county legislators. Under his current proposal, County Executives would only serve two terms while legislators would have a maximum of three consecutive terms, staggered to prevent 15 new people being brought in at once.

Moss is looking to improve the transparency of local government. One of those ways is by live streaming public meetings and having them available on-demand. He’s also very open to using social media platforms to let people know what’s going on.

Moss also plans on expanding the county Ethics Board from three people to five, and he’s also having the ethics policy rewritten.

He plans to meet several departments later in his first day and make sure he’s fully integrated with his new job, whether it be understanding the needs of a certain department or getting his email fully set up.

“It’s a complex job but we’ve got a lot of good people in place, a lot of good people who have already been here, so I’m looking forward to it.”

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