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Schiliro Won’t Run for Sixth Term as North Castle Supervisor

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North Castle Supervisor Michael Schiliro will bow out at the end of his current term. When he leaves the board at the end of next year, Schiliro will have served for 10 years as supervisor following six years as a councilman.

Five-term North Castle Supervisor Michael Schiliro announced late last week that he will not seek re-election next year, marking the end of a 16-year run on the Town Board.

Schiliro, who served as a councilman for six years before starting what will be 10 years leading the town, said the decision is based on work and family commitments. He cited the upcoming merger between PCSB, where he serves as vice president, and CMS Bancorp as placing more demands on his time.

“I’ve accomplished most of what I set out to do, but my life has become increasingly busier with the bank and especially going through the changes we’re going through now with the merger, and honestly, with my kids now grown, oddly enough, more time commitments there,” said Schiliro, a Democrat.

With the start of petitioning for the two major parties moved up several years ago to late February or early March, Schiliro said he wanted to make his announcement early enough so potential candidates who may be interested in running for the seat have ample time to make their decisions to have themselves available for consideration.

“This is not a two-week notice,” he said. “I’m going to be on there for 14 more months and there’s plenty of work to do and I look forward to working with this board and my colleagues.”

Schiliro said he was proud to have worked with various board members to keep the town on strong financial footing, improving infrastructure and protecting and preserving open space. He also pointed to having had smart development in town, including seeing how Armonk Square has become the centerpiece of the downtown.

North Castle Democratic Committee Co-chair Linda Fernberg said she was somewhat surprised when Schiliro indicated to her last week that this would be his last term on the board. Since 2008, and even more so over the past nine years as supervisor, Schiliro has given a lot of his life and available time serving the town, she said.

Over that time, Fernberg said, he earned the mutual respect of residents regardless of political party. After defeating then-supervisor Howard Arden in the first of his five campaigns to lead the town in 2013, Schiliro never faced another challenger in the general election.

“I was praying he would change his mind because he’s a steady hand on the board,” Fernberg said.

Schiliro’s board colleagues had words of praise for Schiliro, ranging from his skill at leading a municipal government to his temperament at handling tense issues. Councilwoman Barbara DiGiacinto, who Schiliro appointed as deputy supervisor even though she is a Republican, said she was “extremely saddened” by his decision to bow out.

“I have learned a tremendous amount about the workings of municipal government and working relationships with the goal of doing what is best for North Castle,” DiGiacinto said. “Admirably, Supervisor Schiliro is leaving office on his own terms and as a winner in every sense of the word. It is impossible to measure all he has accomplished for the betterment of the town.”

She pointed to Schiliro proposing a strategy to replenish the town’s fund balance by dedicating budget surplus to the fund during the Great Recession. At that time the town’s fund balance had nosedived to about $400,000.

Councilman Saleem Hussain, who was elected in 2019, said in his nearly three years on the board he has also learned and has been impressed with how easily Schiliro engages with residents, whether it be while he’s walking his dog downtown in the morning or more formally at a board meeting.

“I think the people he has engaged with like that really understand how much he’s dedicated to this place,” Hussain said. “I have seen that so thoroughly. I would never be able to question his dedication.”

Councilman Matt Milim said he was surprised by Schiliro’s announcement but trusts his judgment to leave on his own terms.

“Anybody who has done this job recognizes how much of a time commitment it is, and Mike has done this, has served the town wonderfully for a long time and he deserves our thanks,” Milim said.

Councilman Jose Berra said Schiliro has displayed tremendous dedication to North Castle.

“I definitely honor Mike’s years of service to the town, he said. “But I think it’s important not to have anyone in power for too long. I think change will be good for the town, especially now since we have a deep bench on the Town Board.”

Hussain and Berra’s Town Board terms will expire next year. Both councilmen said they hadn’t decided whether to run again.

The process will begin for the town Democrats to find another candidate for supervisor, she said. While the committee was prepared to shore up its choices for the other posts on the ballot, Fernberg said she and co-chair Joe Rende were not necessarily expecting to have to make a decision about a nominee for supervisor.

“We had a couple of people here and there that we asked about timing and things like that, so I won’t say that we don’t have some people in mind,” Fernberg said. “But that was for Town Board.

This is a whole different ballgame. So my job just got exponentially harder.”

A call to town Republican Committee chair Anita Cozza was not returned.

Schiliro said he has no regrets about serving or his decision to leave. He also plans to stick around North Castle.

“We’re not planning to move from town anytime soon, if ever, so we’re committee to this community,” he said. “I’m proud to have served, and I feel honored that people have actually felt that they could trust me to be in the position that I was in. I’m really, really honored and grateful for that, truly.”

 

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