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Thurman man named new Warren Co. code administrator

Charles Wallace of Thurman (center), new Warren County Administrator of Fire Prevention and Building Code Enforcement, shares a conversation Sept. 20 with former Code Administrator Karen Putney and county Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Geraghty, moments after Wallace was appointed Sept. 20.

Charles Wallace of Thurman (center), new Warren County Administrator of Fire Prevention and Building Code Enforcement, shares a conversation Sept. 20 with former Code Administrator Karen Putney and county Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Geraghty, moments after Wallace was appointed Sept. 20. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Thurman resident Charles Wallace has been promoted to the post of Warren County Administrator of Fire Prevention and Building Code Enforcement, following the retirement of Karen Putney, who held the position for many years. She recently retired after a total of 30 years as a county employee.

Wallace, 41, was appointed to the post by the county board of supervisors at their monthly meeting held Sept. 20. He has served as a county code enforcement officer for more than seven years.

A 1987 Warrensburg Central School graduate, Wallace grew up in Thurman, and he learned the construction trade through BOCES courses. Wallace then worked in both commercial and residential construction. Wallace continues to live in Thurman with his wife Michele and son Rex.

Putney has been credited with reorganizing the department, boosting fire inspections, obtaining better compliance and virtually eliminating the delays in building inspections and permit approvals that had occurred after personnel cutbacks were inflicted in her department after the deep recession.

Putney said Wallace was well-prepared for the post, which pays $59,500 per year.

“It’s one of the toughest jobs in the county,” she said. “But since he’s worked for years in the department, he knows what he’s getting into.”

Wallace said he wanted to keep up the Putney’s momentum.

“The position presents some challenges, but I know the policies and procedures, so I’m looking forward to the work ahead,” he said. Customer service is the most important issue.”

Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Geraghty of Warrensburg said Wallace was the right individual for the post.

“Charlie is a long-time county employee as well as a past fire chief for Thurman,” he said. “He has a good knowledge of building and fire codes, and he’s been a solid employee in a tough job.”

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