By CHRIS EBERHART
Republican Tuckahoe Trustee Janette Hayes will not run for re-election in March in order to pursue further professional career options.
“This is by no means an easy decision, but after thinking long and hard about my future—both professionally and personally—I made the decision to not seek re-election to the village trustee seat,” Hayes said. “For the past 10 years, I have been working for a wonderful local company and am currently exploring additional professional opportunities.”
Hayes currently serves as the assistant to the CEO/President of Unitex, a healthcare uniform and linen rental company.
Hayes first became a part of the board in 2011 when Tuckahoe Mayor Steve Ecklond, a Republican, appointed her to fill his vacant trustee position when he assumed the mayor’s chair. She said she wanted to get involved with her community as part of a promise she made more than a decade ago to her late mother.
“I was 30 when my mother passed away, and I made a few promises to her and myself,” Hayes said. “She said promise me you will buy yourself a place to live…Second was to go back to school and finish my graduate degree…And finally, the third promise was to do some form of volunteerism, which honestly came about while my mother spent months in the hospital.”
Hayes said she bought a small co-op in Tuckahoe nine years ago, earned her MBA in Business Administration from Iona College in 2009 while working full-time at night and fulfilled her final promise by first volunteering for local community events, then on the co-op board and, finally, as part of the village board in 2011 after “numerous conversations” with Ecklond.
Hayes was re-elected in 2012 and will serve her current term until it expires on March 31. In the meantime, she said, “there’s still tons of work that has to get done, which, of course, includes the next budget,” a process she has been very much involved in over the past two years, according to village trustees.
Republican Village Trustee Tom Giordano said Hayes’ work ethic is “indefatigable” and “the villagers have very much her to thank for last year’s budget.”
As far as the 2015 budget process, which is in the fetal stages now, Ecklond said Hayes will play a role in its completion, but will not vote on this year’s budget. That responsibility will be on the trustee who wins this March’s election.
Looking back on the past three years working with Hayes, village trustees Steve Quigley, a Democrat, and Greg Luisi, a Republican, admired Hayes’ work ethic and attention to detail.
During the Jan. 13 village board meeting, Quigley held up a silver book that was sitting in front of Hayes and said, “This is a book that she keeps with extensive and thorough notes of the meetings. Over the past three years, this has been our institutional memory…People see how well the village is run and Janette deserves a huge amount of credit for that. She makes sure we have the right information and makes sure nothing falls by the wayside.”
Luisi, who said he jokes with Hayes about being the junior on the board, addressed her during the meeting.
“I mean this when I say this, your work in educating me and the work you put in the budget the past few years is nothing short of phenomenal,” Luisi said. “I don’t know where this village would be without your hard work in crunching those numbers for the last two budgets.”
Hayes said although she is leaving the board, her volunteer work in the community
“I am sure I will continue to give back to my community, just in a different capacity, and I am looking forward to still being involved in the village I love,” she said.
“I’m sad to see Janette go,” Ecklond said. “I just want to say we’ve been blessed and fortunate for the time we did have her on this board…I knew when I appointed her she was going to be the one of the hardest working trustees the village has ever had, and I’m happy to say that predication came true.”
Village trustees are elected to serve two-year terms. Tuckahoe’s village elections will take place on March 18 .