Village government has undergone unprecedented change in just a few months with the departure of Village Administrator Harry Porr, Village Treasurer Bob Fels and, just this week, Superintendent of Public Works Rocco Circosta announced his retirement.
As you can imagine, the loss of key personnel put additional burdens on the existing staff, but business ran smoothly thanks to the cooperative, all-hands-on-deck attitude of our kind and professional staff.
Thanks to the enormous assistance of former mayor of Dobbs Ferry and manager of Irvington, Don Marra, the trustees and I were able to conduct a very thorough and professional search and interview process and a new village administrator and village treasurer will be in place on June 23.
It was heartening to see the incredible number of very accomplished and seasoned professionals who wanted to work in our village. I believe it is a tribute to you, the residents.
After a very deliberate process, we have chosen Jim Palmer as our new administrator. Jim has been the village manager of Mount Kisco since 2006. Prior to being elevated to manager, Jim wore almost every hat in municipal government, including the titles of town and village clerk, assessor, building inspector and human resources manager.
In essence, Jim has sat in every seat of those he will supervise.
Jim dealt successfully with many of the issues that have presented themselves here in Bronxville in recent years. He guided the demolition, and then construction of a new library, navigated the FEMA grant process and worked with a small business district in need of revitalization after the economic downturn.
In addition, he has worked collaboratively with his community hospital, Northern Westchester, which will be a template for the same in our village.
Of great importance at this juncture for village government, Jim has great computer acumen, and under his leadership Mount Kisco was the first Westchester community to digitize all tax maps, the entire water and sewer infrastructure, and all land parcels are available on a state of the art GIS system.
Jim will leave Mount Kisco with a much improved bond rating as well as a fund balance representing 25 percent of the general fund, which is the gold standard.
According to Jim, his management style is, “pragmatic, open, respectful and thoughtful” and he will, “serve our customers, the community of Bronxville, efficiently and effectively in a professional manner.”
Jim is an active member of the Westchester County Stormwater Advisory Board and the Mount Kisco Historical Society, two interests that nicely dovetail with Bronxville’s priorities.
Jim is the father of twin five-year-old girls and actually took his wife on their first date to Bronxville for dinner and a movie. It was destiny.
I told him we are so happy he is joining the Bronxville team we pre-emptively named a street in his honor.
Our new treasurer comes to us from the Village of Mamaroneck. Currently Deputy Treasurer Lori Voss is responsible for duties analogous to our needs, though her current budget is three times that of ours. A CPA and MBA, Lori is proficient in all of the newest computer systems as well as extremely proficient in debt financing and New York State Compliance Laws.
Lori’s favorite aspect of municipal accounting is the interface with the local taxpayers and residents.
Her preliminary goal for the village is to upgrade our accounting software and implement point-of-sale, telephone and on-line credit card payments, including, but not limited to, online tax payments.
A loyal Yankees fan, which makes her of like mind with everyone at Village Hall save the police chief, Lori and her husband Robby enjoy canoeing, gardening and reading with winter reserved for football and the Green Bay Packers.
Jim and Lori have both the personal and professional skills that will suit our village. Please come in and introduce yourself and share a welcome.
On a sadder note, Superintendent of Public Works Rocco Circosta will be leaving us after 10 years for a job in the private sector.
Losing Rocco’s skills as an engineer will only be surpassed by the loss of his greater interpersonal connections with staffers and villagers alike.
We wish him all good things in an exciting new life chapter and thank him on behalf of a grateful village for his unwavering devotion to Bronxville.