After spending nearly three years as Cayuga County administrator, Tom Squires is leaving to pursue new opportunities.

Joseph Runkle, deputy chairman of the Legislature, said Squires told county department heads about his decision during a meeting Wednesday.

"The formal announcement was today that he is going," Runkle, R-Auburn, said. "I don't know where he's going."

Confirming his planned departure, Squires declined commenting on where he planned to work, simply stating "I have a fantastic opportunity."

However, The Citizen has confirmed that Squires has accepted a job at Mohawk Valley Community College.

In an internal email, dated Thursday, Feb. 21, President Randall VanWagoner told the Utica college's employees that Squires accepted his offer to serve as MVCC's new vice president for administrative services.

"I am pleased to announce that Tom Squires has accepted my offer to become the new VP for administrative services," VanWagoner wrote. "He brings a unique set of skills and expertise, given his long experience and success at the intersection of higher education and government, that I believe will greatly assist MVCC's long-term ability to pursue our mission of student success."

Squires started working for the county in 2010, becoming the second person to serve as county administrator. He succeed Wayne Allen, who was fired without public explanation in 2009.

Before working for Cayuga County, Squires served as Onondaga County's deputy comptroller for about 13 years. And according to the email, he has worked as an adjunct faculty member at Bryant-Stratton College for many years.

Reflecting on his time in Cayuga County, Squires said the time he spent working as county administrator "has been the best" chapter in his career history. Although he said he was excited about his new job, he said he was sad to leave behind a great group of coworkers.

"I have very mixed feelings about leaving," Squires said. "There are a lot of things that are underway that I'd like to see through."

Before April 12 — his last day as county administrator — Squires said he wants to help the county fix its emergency communications system and see the Legislature decide whether it should merge the Cayuga County Nursing Home with Mercy Health & Rehabilitation Center.

"I'm hopeful to be able to help in the process of making that decision," he said.

In the meantime, Runkle said the Legislature plans to seek a successor. To put steam into the search process, he said the Legislature is currently working to form a search committee.

"There is a plan developing," he said.

Staff writer Samantha House can be reached at 282-2282 or Follow her on Twitter at Citizen_House.

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