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Tom DeVinko Takes Oath of Office as Mayor in Washingtonville

The Village Hall in Washingtonville was packed with enthusiastic residents on Monday night as Tom DeVinko took his Oath of Office and returned to the Mayoral position he held some years ago. There was applause and cheers from those anticipating changes they have hoped for. After the Swearing-In Ceremony given to him by Village Clerk Christine Shenkman, and then new Trustee Susan Walski (who was also named Deputy Mayor) and Trustee Donna Jacaruso, DeVinko said that he plans to continue the practice he had used in his previous terms of rotating the Deputy spot so each Trustee gets a chance to experience what it entails.

Village Clerk administers the oath of office to Deputy Mayor Susan Walski

Trustee Donna Jacaruso takes the oath of office

Since 2 of the previous administration trustees resigned today, along with several other employee positions, the Board will be seeking letters of interest from residents who have potential to fill those spots. They include DeVinko's wife, Maureen, who resigned after being Chairperson of the ZBA for 12 years, to make sure there would be no potential charge of nepotism. She received thank you's and applause for her years of service. A Villager suggested that ZBA and Planning Board members should be given at least a small stipend, to help cover their costs and time and make it worthwhile for qualified people to apply. The resignations also included the Village's Attorney, who will be replaced by Feerick, Nugent & MacCartney, a firm respected and used in several area towns, including Blooming Grove, for which they have won many lawsuits over the years. They will represent the Village both as to litigation and land use.

Ward Representative Chuck Quick, who usually sits next to DeVinko during Town Board meetings, asked what will be happening to the chair next to him. DeVinko said that after discussion with attorneys, he was told he is legally allowed to retain the Town Board seat until next year's budget negotiations (since a budget affects the Village finances), "or at the leisure of the Supervisor if he wants me to go". He decided to keep the Ward spot to help them out. This could help prevent the need and cost of holding a special ward rep election this year. He said they feel that it is in both municipalities' interest, because it adds the ability to coordinate some future plans that will benefit both the Town and Village. Quick emphasized to him that the Town is eager to help the Village in any way it can. DeVinko's agreement to stay while needed is also an important advantage since frequent absence of one board member, retirement of another and a recent medical leave could occasionally put the town at risk of missing a quorum. Devinko added that they have already started working together on some plans that can benefit both, such as work done this week by Town Highway Superintendent, Wayne Kirkpatrick, and Village DPW Superintendent, Chris Martino, whose teams are doing needed tree removal and trimming along North Street, and developing a procedure to evaluate and grade which other streets and roads are in most need of repair. Among other changes, he plans to reestablish an Ethics Committee and the Architectural Review Board in the Village.

Official Village meetings will be held the first and third Monday of each month.

Mayor DeVinko taking his oath....check out the rousing cheers and applause!

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