TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – When Richard Slingerland steps in for Tarrytown village administrator Michael Blau this spring, he knows he will be filling some pretty big shoes.
But they won’t be treading unfamiliar territory; Slingerland held the same position from 1999-2002.
The 51-year-old Ossining resident has spent the last eight years as Mamaroneck’s village administrator. He and his wife have a daughter, now a senior in high school.
Blau is retiring after more than 17 years with Tarrytown.
Mayor Drew Fixell, who praised Blau for his “brilliant and dedicated service,” said that while he will be missed, the village is thrilled to have Slingerland return and to know that Tarrytown “will be in the hands of another experienced, skilled and talented administrator.”
Slingerland, who just notified Mamaroneck of his decision to leave this week, said he has been joking with Blau that he literally keeps following in his footsteps.
Both men worked in administrative positions in Tarrytown before moving onto other posts.
In Blau’s case, Slingerland said, the trail went from Tarrytown to Mamaroneck to Briarcliff and back to Tarrytown. His own journey took him from Tarrytown to Pelham to Mamaroneck and back to Tarrytown.
“He’s a real professional manager and I only hope that I can do as well,” Slingerland said of Blau.
Slingerland began his career of public service back in 1985 when he worked for the county parks system. He then took as job as an assistant to County Executive Andrew “Andy” O’Rourke, a pragmatic Republican who headed Westchester government for 14 years.
The Yonkers native then worked for Democrat Terrence M. Zaleski, the mayor of Yonkers, the fourth largest city in the state.
After that, Slingerland said, he went over to the village management side.
As Tarrytown’s new administrator as of April 3, he will oversee about 94 village employees. He will be paid $202,000 a year.
Slingerland, saying that he leaves Mamaroneck knowing that it is in a good position, citing the town’s active business district and the completion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study of flooding problems along the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake rivers.
“I’m ready for new challenges,” Slingerland said.
One of those challenges is Tarrytown’s waterfront and its future once the new Tappan Zee Bridge is completed, Slingerland said.
The Mamaroneck Board of Trustees is expected to meet this week to discuss its process for replacing Slingerland, the outgoing village administrator said.