North Castle officials thought they had their next permanent town administrator last week but a sudden family emergency has forced the candidate to ask the town to scrap the appointment.
Supervisor Michael Schiliro’s office had announced May 1 that the Town Board was set this Wednesday to vote on bringing James Politi aboard to fill the position effective June 1. Politi has been the administrator in the Village of Nyack for the past 11 years.
However, Schiliro said that he was notified in a letter by Politi early Monday that he could no longer accept the appointment. Schiliro said he was understanding of his situation.
“I received a letter from Jim Politi this morning that although he accepted our offer and the terms and conditions and everything, he had some serious family situation and condition and he was not going to take the appointment,” Schiliro said. “So he apologized for his abrupt response to us.”
Attempts to reach Politi Monday afternoon were unsuccessful.
Schiliro mentioned that he is not concerned because there was a strong and talented field of applicants for the town to choose from. Furthermore, Interim Town Administrator Patricia Dwyer has helped the town establish a strong process to separate the contenders interested in the post.
It is not known how quickly the town can select another candidate and offer the position to that individual, Schiliro said. Officials are hopeful that another candidate can be named this month but that may not be possible because whomever is selected would need time to give notice and leave their current position in good hands, he said.
“Because there was a very good process and there was so much interest, because we had a very hard decision when we made this decision, so that’s a good problem to have,” Schiliro said. “So we’re not concerned at all. We’re going to go back to the process very quickly and we should have an appointment in the very near future.”
A committee that included department heads, Deputy Supervisor Stephen D’Angelo and Dwyer had helped whittle down a large field of candidates and recommend three finalists for the Town Board to interview.
Schiliro said Dwyer will continue to serve as interim administrator until a permanent replacement is hired.
North Castle has been looking for a new permanent town administrator since September when former administrator Joan Goldberg’s contract was not extended. She had served the town nearly continuously for six years except for a brief period at the close of 2013 when a former board terminated her. However, she was brought back by the next board in January 2014 and served until last September.
While Goldberg’s contact expired last Sept. 30, she was told to leave her post on Sept. 4.
Dwyer has served as North Castle’s interim administrator for about six months.