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[VIDEO] Port Chester Appoints New Village Manager, Village Clerk

Christoper Steers promoted to replace outgoing Village Manager Christopher Russo; chiropractor Janusz Richards appointed village clerk in 4-1 vote.

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.

His appointment was approved 5-0, with trustees Daniel Brakewood and John Branca absent.

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.

Rather Notsay August 21, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Who is the Man 3rd from the left that wont stop talking over everyone. He is rude and lacks discipline. Based on his conduct I would say he is a hindered to his party and a disgrace to Port Chester. He should act more like the gentlemen to his left (our right) Now that man has class and a tone of civility that one can respect.
Rather Notsay August 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM
O My, I just did some research and found the man in the yellow tie shouting at everyone is the Mayor of Port Chester (Mayor Pilla) . I must say he is not acting very mayoralty ( I hope that is the correct usage of the word I am sure I didn't but Mayoraly is not a word so... )
JJ August 21, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Good luck to Mr. Steers. I'm having a hard time believing that no one saw this move coming with Mr. Russo. Going back to where Mr. Russo started years ago appears like he was "waiting out" WHATEVER caused him to leave there in the first place. I wish Mr. Russo well but I wish that the BOT does more DUE DILIGENCE on the people that they hire for "key" positions. Mr. Russo left the village at a time when we needed him the most...............that doesn't sit well with Taxpayer's. I guess they'll be a BIG farewell party now; all on the taxpayer's dime?
overly concerned August 21, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Mayor Pilla is a great mayor! He is extremely respectful and is very good at what he does. Seeing that you had no idea who he was in the first place your opinion about him clearly doesn't matter! TEAM PILLA =)
Bart Didden August 21, 2012 at 03:26 PM
@ overly concerned, the mayor is really great at what he does, he creates a TASK FORCE on the fly and never misses a beat. I will be filing a FOIL for the creation document, roster of members and meeting minutes for the "Quality of Life Task Force" that he created in his own mind last night from his own imagination. So he really is good, that is until he gets caught, just like the Amnesty Law promise that he the made to the Bar Association, the claim that the Westchester Avenue improvements would be completed before the Capital reopened and that Starwood would be granted approval for 400 units and a community amphitheater. What will he make up today?
PC Proud August 21, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Somebody drank the kool-aid...................
JJ August 21, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Bart .......did you mean FOIA Sir?
Bart Didden August 21, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Nope, in NYS it is FOIL - Freedom Of Information Law - and you make requests subject to the FOI Law.
American Woman August 22, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Mayor Pilla is a disgrace. I would love to know the reasoning behind the great mayor comment. Him and his sidekick Brakewood, they should go run a town where there's 100 people and they're all related
JJ August 22, 2012 at 09:00 AM
Sorry, I was thinking of the Freedom Of Information Act..............
eatingdogfood August 22, 2012 at 11:24 AM
I will never figure out why people keep electing the same dead wood over and over.
Linda Turturino August 22, 2012 at 12:26 PM
good question eatingdogfood remember there is an important election in March 2013 EVERYONE needs to do their homework and VOTE !!!! Maybe a new mayor and board could be the light we are looking for ....
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