Written by Melissa Argueta Friday, 15 April 2011 00:00
There’s a new mayor in town and his name is Donald Brudie. The 44th mayor of the Village of Garden City was officially sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Bucaria on Monday, April 4 during the village’s organizational night. Subsequently, Village Justice Allen Mathers administered the oath of office to Trustees Dennis Donnelly, Laurence Quinn and Andrew Cavanaugh, as well as newly-elected Trustee John DeMaro.
Friends, family, and residents packed Village Hall to witness the swearing-in ceremonies and the night was prefaced by an invocation read by Rev. Joseph Schlafer of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church.
During his opening remarks, Mayor Brudie welcomed DeMaro to the board and congratulated the three incumbent trustees who won re-election this past March. He also offered thanks and appreciation to outgoing mayor Rothschild for his service and his time on the board, which met with a round of applause from the audience.
While a resident and representative of the central section, Brudie maintained that he had an obligation to do what is in the best interests of the entire village. “As mayor, and the same rule applies to each trustee sitting on this board, we represent the whole village and each and every resident and family. Together we, as one board, are guardians, preserving the village for future generations,” Brudie stated.
“During the past six years of my service as trustee and deputy mayor, I cast many votes involving countless issues affecting the village. At times I voted contrary to the majority, but I always did what I perceived to be right for our village and I will continue to be faithful to that moral obligation,” Brudie said to the audience.
Brudie thanked the fire and police departments, as well as the many village departments for their service to the village. He also praised Village Administrator Bob Schoelle, whom he described as the “CEO of the village.” “Each member of the executive staff reports to him [Schoelle] on a daily basis and he decides what the priorities are and, in turn keeps, the mayors and the board of trustees informed,” Brudie said.
Brudie also thanked voters for bestowing this honor upon him and family members for their support. “When Barbara [Brudie] and I came here 35 years ago, I never conceived that I would be involved in the village as I am now or that I’d ever aspire to public office,” he said. “You volunteer and suddenly you take an odd interest in your village that is inseparable from your daily life. You begin to live and breathe Garden City. The best interests of the village surface and you desire to be a part of it,” he said.
During the board meeting that followed the ceremonies, trustees voted 7 to 1 to approve the proposed $53,333,729 village budget, with Trustee Watras casting the single nay vote. The budget set forth will yield a village tax increase of 1.75 percent — down from last year’s 2.2 percent increase. As a result, the average homeowner will end up paying $98 in additional village taxes this year.
Brudie maintained that while the board of trustees drove for a zero budget, it was not possible due to the ailing and stressed economy compounded by the unfunded mandates imposed upon the village by the State of New York. “Despite these heavy assessments, we were successful in a producing a budget which resulted in a modest 1.75 percent tax increase without compromising services,” Brudie said.