.

[UPDATE] Port Chester Village Manager Resigns

Christopher Russo leaving office Oct. 5.

The clocking is ticking on Port Chester's day-to-day management.

With its post still officially vacant, Port Chester only has two months left before its full-time village manager leaves office.

, who has been village manager since 2008, has turned in his resignation and is set to leave office on Oct. 5.

Russo's resignation comes as Port Chester is in the middle of some key issues:

- Coming up with a new Comprehensive Plan for the village's future, and an updated zoning code to go with it to control future development.

- Completing the changeover in the way in which the village collects revenue for sewer usage. The village plans on charging for sewer usage based on water consumption. However, the village has not completed the billing system that will generate fees.

- Solving the problems with the that supports the Port Chester waterfront.

On , Russo told the village Board of Trustees on Monday night that specifications for bids on the waterfront bulkhead repair are expected to be published on Friday.

The project, Russo said, is expected to cost from $5 million to $6 million. He expects potential bidders will need about a month to examine the scope of the project and submit bids.

Going to Florida

Russo said his departure from Port Chester can up quickly.

“This is something that was kind of unexpected," Russo. "In this business if
you are going to make a move the position you are looking for needs to
be open. The mayor from Sunny Isles Beach, FL, who I have remained
close with, contacted me and asked me if I wanted my old job back. I
was planning to head down that way in a couple of years anyway. I am
not leaving because of anything here in Port Chester, I have really
enjoyed my time here. I think we have accomplished a lot and there are
still some things I plan to finish before I leave in October. With the
opportunity coming open I just felt it was the right time to make the
move.”

Port Chester resident Bea Conetta said the village will miss Russo.

Chris Russo leaving is going to be a very big loss," Conetta said. "To me, this administration has begun to turn this town around. A lot of things have been turned around and the entire staff has done a great job but [Russo] has been a great part of that.”

Linda Turturino August 07, 2012 at 12:33 PM
did not attend meeting last night - had to deal with storm damage. What is going to be the process? Are we going to go months without one? Is he/she going to be able to write their own deal like Mr. Russo did? Are we going to advertize for someone and interview or take to easy way and give the position to Mr. Steers? All good questions I think.....
Jing Xie August 07, 2012 at 08:04 PM
How does one get more involved as a Port Chester community member? I'm new to the area and just settled into a condo here...as I'm now paying taxes into the village of Port Chester / town of Rye I'd like to get a better idea of all the issues the village is working through and help out if possible.
William Demarest (Editor) August 07, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Jing: Welcome to Port Chester. The folks over at Port Chester Village Hall are very nice. If you stop by Village Hall, 222 Grace Church St., Port Chester, I'm sure they can give you an update how to get involved locally. Just stop by the Village Clerk's Office.
RyeDad August 08, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Rumor has it Rye City of Rye Manager Scott Pickup is also leaving very soon.
JJ August 08, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Can someone please tell us what happened here? This Village Manager is in the middle of some very important decisions ; and he leaves? WHY? Someone wrote that he "setup" his own contract? What's that all about too? What the heck is happening in PC? What about all of the people he brought with him; do they leave too? WE NEED ANSWERS HERE.
Bart Didden August 08, 2012 at 09:02 PM
They are good questions - The BOT is discussing its options, the good thing is we have a great asst. manager in Chris Steers and he has been doing some great work with defined resources and goals. The conservative members have put forth its ideas and the democrats appear receptive. There is nothing easy about PC, even if it becomes Mr. Steers. With the elections coming the current BOT should not offer any contracts longer than 18 months and allow the next BOT that starts April 1st, take a look at the interim and offer a longer contract to the interim or look elsewhere. I have a lot of faith in Mr. Steers.
Bart Didden August 08, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Jing, if you are conservative in nature I invite you to e-mail me at bdidden(at)aol(dot)com, we are always looking for new members to the party and people looking to become involved with Boards and Commissions to make Port Chester the best it has ever been. btw, welcome to Port Chester
Bart Didden August 08, 2012 at 09:11 PM
JJ, life takes us in lots of different directions. Mr. Russo has never hidden his goal to return Florida where he plans to retire. He was made an offer that he can't refuse and I not only thank him for the work he has done here in Port Chester, but what he will do between now and October 5th. He did not "set-up" his contract, he negotiated it like any other professional and his replacement will do the same. At this point we don't see any other members of the professional staff of the Village leaving. They are all well respected and highly valued, besides I believe that they like working here in Port Chester. If they didn't like it here they would have been gone a long time ago. Now you have your answers
Interested Reader August 08, 2012 at 09:38 PM
What seems to be true is that Manager Russo, his staff and some Department Heads have gained some ground on several important issues over the last two years. I would think a counter offer to maintain current staff and our coarse may be in the tax payers best interest. If that is not viable or possible I hope we can bring up, promote and realign the hard working and trustworthy staff we have regardless of where they sit now. The tax payer should be on the look out for a takeover by the old guard who got us in the situation. Stay involved.
Concerned View August 10, 2012 at 02:38 PM
The Village Manager leaves with a mixed record at best; an impending disaster re the 2013 elections, hordes of cars (1,000+) to flood the Village 2x week en route to the Capitol without a Village plan to address, a sewer district not implemented, a bulkhead that only now is being bid to repair but not replace (cave in to G&S), no 5 year capital plan, no 5 year budget plan, Comprehensive Plan that Mr Steers had to save,,,,, what project has Russo actually completed? Think Russo's biggest accomplishment was hiring Mr Steers. My impression is that Russo was content to earn his $195,000 salary and just say yes to the BOT's whim of the day.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something