SMETHPORT — The McKean County Commissioners have announced that Daniel J. Wertz, McKean County Director of Children and Youth Services, will succeed Lee Sizemore, outgoing Human Services administrator.

Wertz previously served as director and solicitor for CYS.

A graduate of Lock Haven University and Duquesne University School of Law, Wertz is a licensed attorney and former associate of Woods, Baker and Ross. He began practicing law in McKean County as a law clerk to The Honorable John M. Cleland in 2001.

“I am grateful to the commissioners for trusting me to perform this important role,” said Wertz. “I am proud to work with the individuals and organizations, public and private, who tirelessly dedicate their lives and missions to improve the lives of all residents.”

Under Sizemore’s direction, the McKean County Human Services secured a new grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The department will be adding a Mobile Youth Crisis responder and will develop a strategic plan with schools. DHS will add a forensic case worker to the mental health team to assist individuals who are re-entering the community from incarceration. New funding through the state Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has established housing funds for this population as well.

“These are exciting new initiatives, and I hate to leave such rewarding work,” stated Sizemore. “The commissioners have been a constant support for the work we do at the Department of Human Services. They have pulled together a great team across all departments in human services and it has been a privilege to work with Dan, the leaders within our organization and our community providers.”

The Department of Human Services coordinates programs and agencies including Children and Youth, MH/MR, ATA, Agency on Aging, veterans’ services, Early Intervention, independent living and foster care. The administrator also oversees the block grant and secures grant funds for new and existing programs.

”Our human services department plays a vital role in the county to the benefit of our local communities. We have been fortunate to have Lee serve as director to bring both new programs and new funding to support the overall mission of human services,” stated county commissioner Cliff Lane.

As DHS administrator, Wertz will manage county service contracts and ensure the department’s compliance with federal, state and county regulations and policies. The administrator is also responsible for fiscal and budgetary management of the department and supervises program administrators and professional, technical and clerical staff.

”Bringing Dan into this role provides us with a smooth transition due to his knowledge of the services McKean County provides, the organizational structure and the needs of our citizens,” said commissioner Carol Duffy. “We look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Commissioner Tom Kreiner commented, “The commissioners’ office strives to find solutions to streamline our operations and services, while developing the best practices to meet the needs of our communities and the individuals who reside in McKean County.”

Wertz echoed Kreiner’s comments, saying, “I look forward to working with existing partners, and to developing new ones so we can build upon the strengths of our communities and work creatively and responsibly to develop solutions for our challenges.”

Sizemore’s resignation is effective July 5. Wertz begins his duties July 9.

”The commissioners pulled together a great team across all departments in human services, and it has been a privilege to work with Dan, the leaders within our organization and our community providers,” Sizemore said.