ELIZABETHTOWN - Essex County Mental Health Services Director Nicole Bryant will be retiring, effective the end of May.
"I'd like to thank you all for this wonderful opportunity to serve the residents of our county," Bryant told the Ways and Means Committee of the county Board of Supervisors Monday, announcing her retirement.
The Community Mental Health Services Board is responsible for hiring a new director; Bryant recommended supervisors form a joint search committee with the board to find her successor.
"The intent would be to try to work together," county Manager Dan Palmer said Tuesday.
The Board of Supervisors sets the salary for the position, which is currently around $86,000 for Bryant, who has been there for more than 20 years. This is low by state standards for the position, Palmer said.
Board members gave Bryant a round of applause, and she hugged and kissed the supervisors one by one as she walked away from the podium.
North Elba Supervisor and committee Chairman Roby Politi said she had done a great job, and "I know my comments are voiced by everyone here."
The committee passed a resolution of appreciation later in the meeting, moved by Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava and unanimously seconded.
The department offers a wide variety of services for people who can't pay for private services and is also responsible for helping county jail inmates who have mental health problems.