Christine Quinn made Albany County history on Friday, July 27, when she served her first day as the new deputy county executive. Appointed by County Executive Dan McCoy after then-deputy county executive Michael Perrin stepped down to “explore other opportunities,” Quinn is the first woman to hold the position.
“For too long, the voices of women in county government have gone undervalued and unrecognized. I am working to change that,” said McCoy.
Quinn is no stranger to Albany County government. In fact, she’s been a familiar face since 2002 when she interned in the Department of Law as a law clerk while attending law school. After graduating and becoming a lawyer, Quinn joined the county as a full-time employee, serving as an assistant county attorney for four years and moving on to become the first female director of employee relations and most recently acting commissioner of the Department of Human Resources.
“I have seen what Christine has been able to accomplish in county government and she is the best person for the job,” said McCoy.
Perrin spent 15 years in Albany County government, serving in various capacities, from spokesperson to in-house advisor. McCoy called him an “integral part of Albany County government” for “a very long time.”
Quinn said she’s excited to tackle the challenge of her new role and plans to take everything that comes her way in stride.
“I expect a certain amount of challenge and I would not have taken this opportunity if I didn’t think it was going to be a challenge,” said Quinn.
A “very serious challenge” will be the budget, said Quinn, which she expects McCoy’s office to be “struggling with for the foreseeable future.” A key to trimming it will be consolidation, she said.
“Streamlining county government is on the forefront. I think we need to take a look at all these very important services that we provide and make sure that we are providing them the best that we can and as efficiently as we can,” said Quinn. “We’re looking at consolidation and having a crosswalk between departments.”
Quinn said her organizational skills and “ability to look at something and understand who the players are that need to be heard at the table” will drive good, effective decisions.
In addition to eliminating duplicative services, Quinn said she believes the county should go paperless.
“That has begun and has really started to grow pretty quickly,” said Quinn. “If I had my way there wouldn’t be any paper in anyone’s office unless it was an absolute requirement.”
Despite any challenges that may arise, Quinn said being a public servant is her passion.
“Unless you’re really involved in government and understand government you don’t realize the impact it can have on your personal life and in your family and in the community,” said Quinn. “Throughout my career I got an opportunity to see the changes that can occur and the challenges that government has to offer … and have a great sense of pride in that accomplishm