Dear Friends, Neighbors and Colleagues,
March 20th marked the first day of Spring, a time of renewal and rebirth and a perfect time for change. I have had the honor of serving as your First Selectman for over seven years and over the years I have often been asked why I serve. I have always had the same answer. I do it because I love my job and I adore the people I work with. I loved the challenges, the projects and most of all working together with each of you to make Somers a better place. We’ve had remarkable success and looking back I can’t help but feel a tremendous sense of pride at what we have done together.
We’ve obtained over $9 million dollars in grants that built sidewalks and parking lots, solar power installations, streetscapes and roads. That money enabled us to purchase Camp Ayapo, a true crowning jewel of open space, as well as provide funding for the demolition of the Somersville Mill. By working together we successfully passed seven consecutive town budget referendums on the first try, fully funded our town and firefighter pensions, upgraded ancient fire and DPW vehicle fleets and created a healthy fund balance with minimal tax increases. We have weathered devastating storms and extended power outages and restored the community after the wreckage of Storm Alfred without going out to bond. Together we upgraded our Senior Center, increased Social Service programs, expanded senior housing and unproved our recreational programs. We have excellent fire and police services and we are the envy of other towns with regard to the quality of our snow plowing. We modernized our Emergency Operations Center, transitioned from a volunteer fire chief to a paid fire chief, passed a Planned Development District Zoning Regulation and created a culture of quality customer service within town government offices. There are a thousand and one other things that I can list but the reoccurring theme that made it all possible was the cooperation and collaboration of so many volunteers, staff members, groups and organizations working on a common goal. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity to lead such a marvelous group of people.
That being said, I now have an amazing opportunity to expand and thrive by assisting another community. After much thought I have decided it is my time to renew and I will be stepping down as First Selectman on May 1st to embark on a new adventure. Granted, change is a little uneasy at first, but know that I will be leaving you in the capable hands of an excellent staff with all things in order and wishes for much continued success.
All My Best,