General Services hand-off under way |

General Services hand-off under way

Nevada County began a transition from the old to the new in its General Services Department Tuesday.

After nearly 25 years with the county, director Dennis Cassella is set to retire June 7.

Tuesday, new director Gene Armstead began the transition into the position, which also carries the title of emergency services director.

Cassella said the transition period will give Armstead time to become familiar with the dual roles of the job.

Armstead said his experience in government should make for a smooth transition.

From 1963 to 1980, Armstead served as a police officer in Lincoln, Neb., then as the city’s administrative director from 1980 to 1987.

Armstead then came to California, where he took the position of city administrator of St. Helena in the Napa Valley.

For the last five years, Armstead owned and operated Armstead + Associates, a job search consulting firm for the construction industry located in the Bay Area.

Armstead, 62, said he’ll relocate his wife and two daughters to Nevada County at the end of the school year.

“I’ve been told by innumerable people that Nevada County is the best place in California to live,” said Armstead, who added he’s anxious to see it in summer.

Cassella began his tenure as a purchasing agent in the General Services Department in 1977, and became director in 1985.

“It’s been a good 25 years,” he said. “In some ways I’ll miss it, but I don’t think I’ll miss the stress that goes with it.”

Cassella said he’ll take some time off and travel after his retirement, but he plans to remain active in the community.

On July 1, Cassella will take a seat on the Hospice of the Foothills board of directors.

He will continue as president of the Constitution Day Parade Commission and as a board member of the Nevada County Library Foundation.

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