The Port Chester Village Board of Trustees didn’t waste much time in filling the Village Manager's seat.
Current Village Manager, Christopher Russo, submitted his letter of resignation to the Village Russo’s letter states that he is set to leave his post on Oct. 5.
Deputy Village Manager Christopher Steers, who has been highly praised for massively increasing code enforcement in Port Chester, was appointed Monday night as the man to replace Russo and fill the Village Manager position on Oct. 11.
“I just want to thank the board for their support,” said Steers. “Mr. Russo leaves some large shoes to fill. I have the same high expectations of myself that the board has of me and I am ready, willing and able to move forward.”
Steers was appointed to a two-year term and will receive an annual base salary of $180,000. The agreement between Steers and the village also includes a $2,000 relocation and housing allowance, an assigned village vehicle and six months’ severance.
The has been vacant since Joan Mancuso retired earlier this year. The village has been interviewing candidates for the past few months. Janusz Richards, a career chiropractor, was appointed as the new Village Clerk Monday evening.
Mayor Dennis Pilla did not appear ready to make a decision. He felt other candidates were ready to hit the ground running and questioned Richards’ readiness to take the clerk position.
“I don’t like to see people fail,” said Pilla. “I am going to make sure that we work as a team to make everybody succeed here. It would have been optimal to have somebody with experience and this was an awkward conversation to have in public but it is an important conversation to have.”
Pilla was the only person who seemed to have reservations about Richards. There was some significant debate (attached video) but in the end Richards was appointed effective immediately at a rate of $75,000 annually and his contract expires April 1, 2013.
“I’ve been volunteering for this community, whether it’s zoning board, youth board or the planning commission for over 20 years,” said Richards. “I was the chairman of the zoning board. I’ve been involved with elections since 1990 and that is one of the biggest responsibilities of the Village Clerk. It’s not like I am just blindly stepping into something.”
Correction: Joseph Kenner was incorrectly listed as absent from the meeting.