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It Takes A Village…Administrator

by John Shields

There is no question that there needs to be an active administrator in the village.  It is this person, who does everything from assessing insurance needs and working with insurance providers,   discussing details of village events, meeting with local groups such as Nyack Center and citizen groups,  supervising the meters and the muni-meters,  creating village budgets and overseeing daily expenditures,  working with the Department of Public Works and Nyack Water on such things as the need for new equipment.  Preparing reports to the Village Board about needs that arise in the village and necessitate a policy decision as well as addressing citizen complains, concerns and village crises on a daily basis.   In addition, an administrator would negotiate, with instructions from the Nyack Village Board, union contracts with employees, employee issues and attend depositions on village legal matters.  These are only a few of the duties that are part of daily operation even in a small village.

For the past sixteen years these duties have been performed by mayors who effectively served full time, and more importantly, the soon to be retired Village Treasurer,  who served as an administrator without the official title or job description but with a salary well beyond that of a treasurer.   With John Cincotta, the current treasurer retiring and a mayor who has a full time job out of the village, we need someone to run the day to day operations.  The administrator position is extremely common in villages and towns without a full time mayor.

We need someone in Village Hall on a daily basis to handle these and a myriad of other tasks in the village.

A Village Administrator or Village Manager could serve this function.   The cost of an administrator or manager would be off set by the treasurer’s retirement . If the administrator’s position exceeds that it amount it could be further offset by a substantial decrease in the mayor and trustee’s salary (although I recommend that approved expenses be paid). In other words there should be  a  commitment to hire both an administrator and a treasurer within the current budget lines allotted to Mr. Cincotta .

In addition to all the other responsibilities, the job description should include economic development and grant writing for the village.

The challenge for Nyack is that we are a small village geographically (1 mile square) and have a finite tax base. We need to maximize our resources and figure out new ways to generate revenue.  We can not accomplish this with only a legislative board.  Village Hall now has few employees and few department heads to handle what amounts to running a multi million dollar company.

The recent decision to create the position of administrator will serve the village well.  However, there must be a process which includes a through job search for the person best suited to the village’s needs.  An automatic appointment from the current village board is not appropriate or in the best interests of the village.

John Shields is the former mayor of the Village of Nyack

Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.

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