[UPDATE] Port Chester Hires Village New Manager

On the agenda: Chris Steers promoted; village looks at appointing Janusz Richards of Port Chester as clerk.

UPDATE (8:20 p.m.): Chris Steers was tonight unanimously named the new Village Manager of Port Chester, effective Oct. 11.

The Port Chester Board of Trustees is slated to a talk about filling two key positions as it meets tonight at 7.

Up for discussion: Promoting Deputy Village Manager Chris Steers to village manager when leaves the job in October to move to Florida. Also, Janusz Richards of Port Chester is up for discussion to fill the vacant post of Port Chester Village Clerk.

The village clerk's job has been vacant since the retirement of Village Clerk  this summer. In June, discussions about filling the job briefly looked at hiring Former Rye Town Supervisor . However, that effort failed.

The Board of Trustees was scheduled to talk about the possible appointments in a 6 p.m. closed-door "executive session" and then discuss the positions in public at the 7 p.m. meeting in the Village Court, 350 N. Main St.


Also on the agenda for tonight:

Agreement between the Village of Port Chester and B&H USA Grill (aka Cousin Frankie’s Grill) for outdoor seating on Village property at Rear 116 North Main St.

Final report on the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code Amendments/Map and the SEQR process.

Proposed Interim Local Law – amend Village Code establishing a Permit Amnesty Program.

Retain Halcrow, Inc. for professional engineering services with regard to the Marina Bulkhead.

Amend service agreement with PMA Management Corp. to May 31, 2013 for the Village of Port Chester Worker’s Compensation Program.

Tax lawsuit settlement with Pathmark Stores, Inc., Section 142.53, Block 1, Lot 5.

If you can't get to the board meeting, you can watch it live on the web

Craig Noor August 20, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Christopher Steers has done a fine job by all accounts and deserves the promotion. What's this about Pathmark? Did they not pay their taxes? If they didn't, no more Pathmark for me...
Craig Noor August 21, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Congratulations Mr. Steers! I'm relieved to see that someone whose heart is clearly in it got the job.
Disgusted with PC August 21, 2012 at 11:45 AM
I'm sorry whose heart is really in it got the job? This man couldn't even handle his job as a building inspector! That's good old Port Chester for you promoting a man who couldnt get a grasp on what he was hired to do! Christopher Russo excelled as Village Manager. This guy is going to be a joke just like he was at his last job. Only thing that ever came out of his mouth during the meetings was "I need more staff" I am sure half the people working for the village need more staff but when you are good at what you do you make it happen with what you have!! Two thumbs down for this decision!
Linda Turturino August 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM
The question needs to be asked ....what is going to happen in the code enforcement now that Steers will have all new added responsibilities? Is that position going to be filled ?
JJ August 21, 2012 at 01:06 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?
JJ August 21, 2012 at 02:48 PM
You make an excellent point. Wasn't Mr. Steers hired by Mr. Russo and they're BOTH from FL? I wonder when he's leaving now???? Your blog has me concerned.
JJ August 21, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Unfortunately this has ALWAYS been the Village of Port Chester's WAY: 1. Know someone or "run" in that crowd drinking, dinner, golf or through marriage ; You're hired 2. Allow specific organizations to run wild with housing purchases / land purchases / renovations / village contracts ; Look the OTHER way come enforcement or oversight time 3. Accuse someone in the village of racism, EEO lapses, unfairness ; We'll settle out of court or set a National precedence on voting and become the laughing stock of millions of TV viewers 4. Allow numbers 1. & 2. to steer us to GOOD GOVERNMENT like the Titanic It's a great community that is awash in ineptitude and inability to correct itself. Two steps forward and three steps back..................at least this BOT is paying some attention to the issues that plague the PAYING Taxpayer's.
Valerie August 21, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Port Chester lacks 'management' ... you need good/strong management to prioritize and get the job done. I beleive Mr. Russo did what he could ... but .... the job of handling all the issues in Port Chester is tremendous. I hope Mr. Steers will prioritize and tackle the obstacles that are present in PC.
Aidan August 21, 2012 at 11:36 PM
I wish Mr. Steers good fortune ... because our fortune is tied to his performance. I think the code issue that he prioritized has made progress. But, like the rest of us, I'm put off by the slow-footedness of the effort. But I caution myself and others that this isn't a task that can be met with a sheriff's mentality. There are all sorts of legal angles most of us do not understand. Costly legal actions are not what we need. So, i get it. That said, better to have a new manager with an existing fund of important understanding about the village. No need to wait for some outsider to get the needed perspective. I think the BOT is more than scrutinizing of the efforts of both positions. Many members do understand the public sentiment ... some better than others. Mr. Steers will get his action plan from them, so ultimately, it is the mayor & the BOT who shoulder the responsibility. The onus is on them more than Mr. Steers. He works for them. And they work for us. Let's give him a fair shot ... and trust that the mayor and the board make the right decisions. Decisions that reflect the community will.
Bart Didden August 22, 2012 at 03:19 PM
I am confident that Mr. Steers will be successful as our next Village Manager. Now having said that, I will state that I had concerns about the hole that he leaves to which he and I had a 2 hour meeting on Monday before his confirmation vote Monday night. It was a good meeting in which he laid out for me his transition and how he has prepared the Building and Code Departments for this enviable day. We also talked about our respective visions and how he believes in "accountability" and holding not only department heads but every employee of the Village accountable to professionalism and productivity. Mr. Steers and I agree on many many items, but we also know how to discuss and compromise as well. The most recent example is the proposed Amnesty Law that will be the subject of a Public Hearing on September 4th. Six months ago we were still divided on the methodology of the program but two weeks ago we came together, agreed on a system and we are ready for the public hearing and approving the first Property Amnesty Program ever for the Village of Port Chester. This will just me one of many steps to restore the faith of buyers looking to come and make Port Chester their home, just like those of us here already. Yes there is a lot to do and I look forward to getting it done.
eatingdogfood August 23, 2012 at 06:14 PM
True! There is little hope left for PC. Probably none.
JJ August 23, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Once again , I see your point but I'm happy that Mr. Didden reads what's being written here. That's a BIG start as far as I'm concerned. Port Chester should have already had "accountability" in their work programs, contracts and strategic planning. Accountability is something that has been sorely lacking in PC Government for years. I'm surprised that we haven't had more federal investigations into the nonsense that has/ is occurring in PC. You can start with the housing issues..................... It's still a great place to live but it's rapidly falling down the hill awash with inner politics, inept politicians, lack luster leadership and a rising crime rate. Thanks for at least making the attempt to see what Taxpayer's are thinking Mr. Didden.
Bart Didden August 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Good Morning to "overly concerned" & "eatingdogfood" the two newest GUTLESS WONDERS that hide behind anonymity when posting to this site. What you don't know is that Mr. Steers had individual meetings with various members of the Board prior to the meeting. What you don't know is that I was out of town for business and personal reasons for 10 days prior to the meeting date. What you don't seem to care about or recognize is that I took the time to discuss the appointment with the applicant rather than just showing up and voting, because what you don't seem to care about is that on such an important issue that Trustee Brakewood or Deputy Mayor Marino did not conduct an interview and that Trustee Brakewood did not attend the meeting to vote on the issue. JJ is makes a good point, you would know less than nothing if no members of the BOT posted here. One is better than none, even when your post is diarrhea your your own gratification.
eatingdogfood August 25, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Mr.Didden, the truth hurts. You don't have to be such a bully. What does knowing my name have to do with the quality of life in PC? Answer: nothing. I was born and raised there and sad to see what is happening. Some of the answers lie beyond local government, but IMHO, it's too late.
Bart Didden August 27, 2012 at 01:13 PM
eatingdogfood, sorry you feel that the truth in my response to you "hurts" or that plain speaking English makes me appear to you as a bully. How about this, put on your adult skin and suck it up. You can start by talking about issues only and know that I don't mind disagreeing on topics but when you take the cheap seats and agree with other "gutless wonders" such as overly concerned you get the response deserved. btw, "gutless wonder" was created by another Trustee in these pages and we continue to use it regularly when some persons choose not to write about topics with substance. How about this, don't fall into the trap of Obama and Democrat's like Mayor Pilla against Conservatives, who rather attack the character and divide people to win elections. Debate or post here on the issues. I have and will continue to answer with respect and candor questions that are posted here on Patch, but if you want to play politics and support the lack luster leadership and short on accomplishments Pilla administration, well then you opened the door.


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