Modified: May 26, 2021 1:16pm
Created: May 26, 2021 1:10pm
Erie County Deputy Comptroller Greg Gach, who served numerous administrations going back to Ed Rutkowski, announces retirement from service to taxpayers
Erie County Deputy Comptroller Greg Gach, who has served in that position for both Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw and current Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, announced his retirement from service to taxpayers as of June 1st, 2021. The long time Lancaster resident took his extensive accounting knowledge and experience to the public sector, serving the public more than 40 years in numerous roles.
Mr. Gach has served as Deputy Comptroller for current Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw Jr. since he took office on January 1st, 2013. Prior to serving almost a decade as Comptroller Mychajliw’s “right hand man,” Greg worked as Budget Director in the Administration of former Erie County Executive Chris Collins. He is so well respected in the arena of public service that current Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz also made Mr. Gach his first appointment while he served as Erie County Comptroller. Mr. Poloncarz picked Gach to work as his very first Deputy Comptroller on January 1st, 2006.
In addition to those positions in public service, Greg has worked four decades in numerous capacities for Erie Community College, the Erie County Legislature and currently the Office of Erie County Comptroller.
“Greg is quietly and courageously battling cancer. It is not an easy fight. For many months Greg has even worked on office management while in the hospital receiving treatment. For that alone he deserves praise and credit. I wholeheartedly understand Greg’s decision to focus on his health. He will be missed personally and professionally.”
“Greg worked as hard as he could and often as he could under difficult circumstances while fighting cancer. Up until now he didn’t want me to share his illness with anyone. Instead, he focused on his strong ‘Polish work ethic,’ did a great job, and never complained once. Greg promised me one term, four years, back in 2013. He’s served taxpayers well and far longer than expected,” said Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw Jr.
“I have had the honor of serving the public for many years. My passion is public service. I wanted to use my accounting and professional skills to make our community a better place to live. While a career in the private sector was quite tempting, especially during difficult times like the ‘Red Green’ budget crisis, it was a blessing to guide our government to better and stronger times.”
“What we did together mattered. I’ve helped numerous governments and County Executives and Comptrollers manage finances and manage them very well. It allowed us to fix roads, maintain parks, operate Highmark Stadium, keep our budget afloat and keep the ‘trains running on time’ in government. As for me, it’s time to retire. I’ve worked as hard as I can while undergoing treatment for cancer. My doctors at Roswell will be happy. My sole focus will be my health and getting better,” said Gach.
It is no secret Comptroller Mychajliw and County Executive Poloncarz disagree politically on many issues. The one area of common ground between the two is their respect and admiration for Mr. Gach, and the fact that both chose Greg as their very first Deputy Comptroller for Accounting.
“Greg brings to the table impressive credentials, including a degree in accounting, a MBA, and many years of budget and finance work, including three and a half years as Controller at ECC. He comes highly recommended by those who have worked with him in the past and will be tremendous asset to the office. I am delighted that he will serve as my principal deputy.”
Source: Mark Poloncarz, www.markpoloncarz.com, December 16th, 2005
“To this day I have no idea what political party Greg is in. Never asked him. I didn’t care then. Still don’t today. I do remember taking a lot of political grief for hiring Mark Poloncarz’s former Deputy. Never mattered to me. Greg was the best person for the job then and he his today. It’s going to be tough to see him go. Maybe, just maybe I’ll ask Greg, even though he’s a dear friend and I suspect he leans a little left,” added Comptroller Mychajliw.
In the short term, Mr. Gach’s accounting duties will be split amongst Cheryl Mekarski, who will serve as interim Deputy Comptroller until December 31st, 2021 and John Solecki, Director of the Cash Management Division.
“Greg has been very gracious in offering to help us the rest of the year, until Lynne Dixon brings on board her own Deputy Comptroller on January 1st, 2022. Besides, you can’t replace a guy like Greg. He’s the ‘Wayne Gretzky’ of public accounting and finance. He’s irreplaceable. I can’t thank Greg enough for his service to the Office of Erie County Comptroller, especially during his difficult struggle with cancer,” concluded Comptroller Mychajliw.
The Comptroller also promoted Mr. Solecki to Chief of Staff. Barb Lipka, who has been leading the office’s successful Supplier Pay program, has been promoted to Communication’s Director. Jacob Nercessian, a Senior Clerk Typist, has been promoted to the Comptroller’s Executive Assistant. These personnel moves are in line with the Comptroller’s succession plan which has been implemented since 2013.