Fleischmanns names Pascarella new mayor

By Jay Braman Jr.
After two months of being without a chief executive officer, Fleischmanns has a mayor again but its village board is now short one trustee.

In a reversal of their position last Thursday, village trustees Harriet Grossman and Fred Woller agreed to appoint Deputy Mayor Todd Pascarella to the top spot. The two trustees had previously blocked the appointment, insisting that the village could function just fine without a mayor until next year’s election.

Looking ahead
“I think we’ll be fine for a year,” Grossman told MARK Executive Director Peg Ellsworth at the March Village trustee meeting following Ellsworth’s appeal to make the appointment. But a month later that position was reversed, but not without a little deal making.
“The deal was to agree on a trustee,” Pascarella said Tuesday.

By law, Pascarella is entitled to unilaterally appoint anyone he wants to fill the trustee vacancy. It is not uncommon in politics for an appointee to have views solidly in line with those of a mayor. In Fleischmanns however, there will be a consensus on who will become the fifth board member, but so far efforts have been unsuccessful.

“There have been names thrown around,” Pascarella said. “They had one that I didn’t like and I had two that they didn’t like.”

At present the board appears equally divided, with Grossman and Woller on one side of some issues and Pascarella and Trustee Ben Fenton on the other.

Also last month, Grossman publicly accused Pascarella and Fenton of holding secret meetings with former Mayor Dave Morell and deliberately leaving her and Woller out of village business.
Asked what he was looking for in a trustee, Pascarella said the board needs the new member to participate.

“We need someone who will commit. We don’t need just a body in a seat,” he said.
According to Pascarella, there is no set time commitment for a trustee. Some weeks it will require a couple of hours, other weeks it may take 20 hours. After catastrophes like last year’s visit from Tropical Storm Irene, it can be even more.

Storm issues persist
Pascarella noted that the village is still working on solving problems in the aftermath of that storm, so any new trustee should expect to put in more hours rather than less.

“It’s really up to the person,” he added.
Pay for a trustee is $100 per month. There are no other financial benefits.
Anyone interested in the position should contact Pascarella at 254-3055.