By ASHLEY HELMS
With the retirement of Village of Larchmont Clerk Eileen Finn on the horizon after 35 years, the door has been opened for Larchmont officials to consider the option of hiring a paid administrator.
GJF Management, based in Ossining, has been contracted by the village to study every
department within Village Hall. Finn’s scheduled departure in January kicked off the need for the study, but it will incorporate more than just the clerk’s office.
The study is being led by GJF owner Jerry Faiella,, who worked in municipal offices across the county for 35 years. Faiella will determine, over the next two to fours months, whether or not the village needs a full-time clerk to fully service the community.
There are various business models for the clerks department that the village could pursue, which all have different responsibilities.
According to Mayor Anne McAndrews, a Democrat, the village budget has grown considerably in the last 10 years; ushering in more duties and responsibilities for Village Hall employees.
“We’re not a sleepy little village anymore, I don’t know if we ever were, but there’s an incredible increase in the amount of work needed to be done,” McAndrews said.
Tuckahoe and Larchmont are the only villages in Westchester County that don’t have a professional administrator that handles day-to-day operations within the village, according to McAndrews. A manager or administrator traditionally works to implmement public policy set by a governing municipal board. Many professional administrators have a masters degrees in the field of public administration, McAndrews said.
Faiella was a municipal administrator for 33 years, but retired in December 2010 as an administrator in New Castle after 13 years. He said when Larchmont officials approached him about their needs, he provided information on their options for the administrative office, but, at first, was not intending to conduct the study himself.
“But things do change in life and the opportunities provided me time over the last couple months to assist the village,” Failla said.
A contract with GJF Managem-ent was accepted by the Board of Trustees on Oct. 21 and the contract is intended to iron out the final details of the study and what will happen going forward. McAndrews said that reevaluating village offices is being combined with other projects geared toward efficiency and technological advancement such as switching to computer database systems to pull departments together as well as updating the water meters in the next few years. Those changes are separate from the study.
The mayor said Faiella is known in the field to be the best at studying administrative offices.
“If we put together all of our budget, we’re a $20 million operation. Everything of that size demands professional management,” McAndrews said.
Trustee Peter Fanelli, a Democr-at, asked about the biggest changes Faiella has seen in government over the last few years.
Faiella said he has seen an increase in unfunded mandates handed down from the state, severe fiscal constraints due to the mandates and an uncertain economy and new obligations including flooding concerns and required training for employees. Because of this experience, Faiella said he is prepared to work with the village to finish the study and lay out the best options.
“I’ve seen [the issues] worked with them and tried to address them throughout the years,” he said.