ELMSFORD, N.Y. The past 12 months were littered with peculiar weather storms, special events, high school graduations and new business openings. Elmsford Mayor Robert Williams recaps 2011 with his top four items.
A staff that works well together, stays together: "I enjoy working with the board and my department heads and staff. That's one of my biggest joys every year. Every mayor will boast about them, saying that they have the best, but what we say here is that we're not in politics, we're in government. Everybody else is bickering and fighting and holding contentious meetings, but we don't. Sometimes we have five different ideas starting out on an item, but at the end of the night, those five ideas come to one perfect idea. In my nine years as mayor, we only voted differently once. I always brag about my department heads because they go above and beyond, and I know that because our guys do things that isn't in their job description."
Big events brewing in the little village: "I always enjoy the events that we do. We're very small and we don't have a recreation department. But we have a movie and a concert in the park, we had our Easter event, Memorial Day. The tree lighting, which is one of my favorites, and the menorah lighting, which is another one of my favorites. I think they are wonderful events, and you can see it in the turnout. We're very proud of our special events. For a small village, we put on very nice events."
Ready for anything: "I'm very proud of our emergency preparedness. From the storms, some of our neighboring municipalities still have leaves and trees on the ground. But we prepared for that. If you want to get it done right, you have to be on top of it. Being prepared for Hurricane Irene, we had hotel rooms for the police and DPW, which no one else thought of; my staff was here. We take that very seriously. For the winter storm, we had the plow crews ready. Over 100 trees fell in the little old village of Elmsford, blocking the road, and we were cutting and moving them out of the road before people called them in. We came in early, we were ready. And that's because of my preparedness and my planning, and I'm going to take credit for it. I believe that you have to be prepared and you have to step out of the box."
Village mayors win for the Village Officials Committee: "When I was elected mayor in 2003, my goal was to become friends with the other mayors of the villages in the Town of Greenburgh. We decided to meet regularly and share our services and ideas. What's really cool is that in May, we were awarded, by the New York Conference of Mayors, second place for public management and administration. So not only do we think we are doing a good job, but so does the association. It's really cool. That's something to be proud of. That was a really big accomplishment. We formed a fantastic partnership. In the past year-and-a-half, we saved $500,000 between us that came from joint bidding contracts. We've come up with a lot of good ideas. That's something I'm very proud of as I founded the initial concept."
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