Sullivan County Administrator Resigns Post

After Six Years, Greg Chanis Leaving for Job in California

Newport — County Administrator Greg Chanis, who came on board during troubled financial times for the county and led the effort to restore its fiscal health, resigned Monday to take a position with Santa Barbara County government in California.

Chanis was hired as Sullivan County facilities and operations manager in 2004. Three years later he became the county administrator.

In a phone interview Monday evening, Chanis said resigning was not an easy decision to make, but said he and his wife have talked about moving to a warmer climate for some time and the Santa Barbara opportunity was too good to pass up.

“It was the right job in the right place at the right time,” said Chanis, 49. “We are pretty excited about this opportunity.

“This has really been the best job I have had, so it is with mixed feelings I decided to leave,” Chanis added. “But this is an opportunity that may not come up again.”

Chanis said he has to start his new job as Assistant Director of General Services for Santa Barbara County the middle of next month so he expects to leave Sullivan County by the end of this month or the first week of August.

Jeff Barrette, chairman of the three-member county commissioners board, said in a statement Monday that Chanis will be sorely missed.

“Greg’s contributions to this county have been many,” Barrette said. “He helped to guide us through our financial troubles in the beginning, to the construction of community corrections center, the creation of a capital reserve and the current biomass project, proving that forward progress is possible with the right financial footing and a vision for the future.

“Greg will be sorely missed by colleagues both in and out of the county. He certainly left us in a better place than when he took the position.”

Chanis said the progress in the county the last several years has been a collaboration among talented employees with strong support from the commissioners and county delegation of state reps.

“The delegation and commissioners have shown confidence in management,” Chanis said. “It has been very gratifying.”

He agreed with Barrette’s summation of some of the more notable accomplishments during his tenure as county administrator.

“When I first came on board, county finances were in tough shape,” Chanis said. “We righted the ship and restored the fund balance to a healthy fund balance.”

Being part of the team that oversaw construction of the county corrections center, which provides drug and alcohol treatment, and the start of the biomass project, which is set to be complete within the next year, were two important projects that Chanis said will provide benefits to the county for years to come.

“These are great things for the county,” Chanis said.

The nursing home finances have been stablized under Chanis.

“We are in way better shape than we used to be,” he said.

Barrette also said that commissioners will begin exploring the next step.

“We, the commissioners, are currently weighing options for filling the position. The county’s risk management provider has been contacted and will play a key role in the discussions as we move through the process.”

We all wish Greg the same success in his future endeavors that he has had here in Sullivan County.”

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at