After a campaign marked by terms like “openness,” “unification” and “transparency,” I am appalled that the first decision the new mayor of Mamaroneck Village made was to fire Village Attorney Janet Insardi. Furthermore, it is disconcerting that Mr. Rosenblum was not yet sworn in as mayor when he told the Village manager to inform Ms. Insardi she would be terminated. Is this even legal?
At the Board of Trustees organizational meeting on Monday, Trustees Hofstetter and Ryan said they have yet to see a resume, job description or any conditions at all of Ms. [Christie] Derrico’s employment as Mamaroneck’s new part-time attorney.
It is nothing personal against Ms. Derrico, but I found it odd that she was seated at the dais with the rest of the board before they voted on her appointment. Apparently, it was a “done deal” before the vote was even taken! Were the potential conflicts of interest between her law firm (or her husband’s) and the Village even explored?
If Mayor Rosenblum wants to truly unify the Village, backroom politics is not the way to get started.
It would have been highly beneficial to Mamaroneck to have Ms. Insardi stay on. I am curious to hear the mayor’s reasoning is on this. All I have heard is he wants to save Mamaroneck money, as Ms. Insardi’s annual salary was $130,000. With all due respect Mayor Rosenblum, where have you been for the last several years?
One of the best ideas former Trustee Tom Murphy had, was to ask three prominent local attorneys for advice on how Mamaroneck could lower its legal expenses and avoid costly lawsuits. Their suggestion to hire a full-time attorney who would work only for the Village was a fine idea. Who knows how many lawsuits were avoided because good legal advice was obtained before actions could be taken against the Village?
According to an article in last week’s Journal News, in 2008, the year Ms. Insardi began, “the village spent around $329,000 in legal fees — almost half of what it spent the previous year. So far this year, the village has spent about $102,000. In comparison, in 2005 and 2006 the village had no staff attorney and spent more than $1.4 million in legal fees each of those years.”
How can an attorney be available to advise the various boards and commissions, the department heads and employees of the Village, as well as do the necessary research on any lawsuit. in a part-time capacity? Legal expenses will again go up as work will need to be outsourced to private firms. Back to the old days
I think the residents of the Village deserve better. The mayor has said that, prior to making a decision, he will ask himself, “Is it fair, is it just, is it right for the Village of Mamaroneck?” How does firing the full-time attorney meet any of those parameters? The Village needs good, experienced, full-time legal advice and Mayor Rosenblum needs to keep his promise to put what’s right for our Village first.
Village of Mamaroneck