Modified: March 5, 2021 9:46am
Erie County, NY- Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns is pleased to announce Michael Cecchini has been appointed Deputy County Clerk of Media and Community Relations and Kim M. Bowers has been appointed Deputy County Clerk of the Auto Bureau Division.
Cecchini, a Williamsville resident, has been working in the Clerk’s office since 2012 where he initially served in this same position. Since 2016, Mr. Cecchini has worked as Deputy Clerk of the Auto Bureau Division and has been a member of this administration since Kearns taking office.
In his new assignment, Mr. Cecchini will be responsible for the development of communications designed to expand the County Clerk’s Office visibility to the public, handle day-to-day media relations as well as all other press and community events. During his five years as Deputy Clerk of Auto Bureau operations, Mr. Cecchini helped enhance customer engagement, implemented additional service initiatives and directed the opening of the new Southgate Plaza branch in West Seneca in 2019.
Under Kearns’ direction, Cecchini aided in creating a thoughtful phased in approach to re-opening auto bureau branches that were closed following Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders. The goal to keep staff and customers safe from the spread of coronavirus was achieved by observing all social distancing guidelines, installing safety glass partitions at all clerk stations and throughout each office, introducing “curb-side” service for vehicle registrations and then moving to online reservations for all in-person transactions in order to allow the offices to open under COVID-19 protocols.
In her new role as Deputy Clerk of the Auto Bureau Division, Ms. Bowers, an Orchard Park resident, will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations. The Auto Bureau conducts as many 500,000 transactions annually with 85 employees and currently operates 4 area branches with the Eastern Hills Mall location scheduled to re-open this spring in a newly renovated space in the mall. In 2020, even under strict COVID-19 guidelines and a temporary closure, the Auto Bureau division conducted close to 400,000 transactions.
Bowers joined Clerk Kearns’ office in 2019 in the Erie County Pistol Permit Department. She was key in developing new and best practices for that division. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and having all in-person transactions suspended, Bowers was instrumental in giving the office an on-line presence as well as ensuring customers that all transactions from new pistol permit application submission to firearm amendments could be completed.
“I am fortunate enough to have selected some talented people,” stated Kearns. “These appointments demonstrate the depth and skill I have in my administration. I am proud to appoint from within and create opportunities of change that will be of benefit to this office, my staff and the residents of Erie County.”
The Erie County Clerk is an independently elected official responsible for recording, filing and maintaining a central repository of legal documents and records affecting land and real estate transactions, those related to corporate filings, assumed names, and as Clerk of the Supreme and County Courts. In addition, the Erie County Clerk’s Office manages other divisions within the office that include: auto bureau operations, pistol permits, and archive records, the Clerk’s “Thanks-A-Vet” Discount Card Program, Zombie Property Initiative and the Wellness Collaborative. The Clerk’s Office processed over $140 million in total transactions that generated $15.3 million for the County Road Fund and $2.4 million in unanticipated revenue in 2020.