Mayor Fills Vacancy on Irvington’s Board

Irvington residents have a new Village trustee after Mayor Erin Malloy appointed Terence Masterson, 50, to fill a seat recently vacated by Patricia Ryan.

Malloy announced the appointment and presided over the oath of office in the middle of the Aug. 18 meeting.

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Newly appointed Irvington Trustee Terence Masterson

And with the arrival of Masterson, who lives on North Broadway, residents are receiving an experienced hand.

The Republican turned Independent, who has lived in Irvington since he was 10 years old, previously served on the Village Board from 1983-93, and as deputy mayor from 1987-93.

Meanwhile, Ryan recently resigned from the board after her colleagues voted to make a claim on the bond of former Village clerk/treasurer Ed Ritter, who was involved with the fire truck fiasco in the spring. Irvington lost $322,201 after making a 75 percent deposit for a new fire engine with a Wisconsin-based company, Elite Fire Apparatus, that had since gone bankrupt.

An audit of the transaction by KRPJ of Pomona found that Ritter paid 75 percent of the bill to Elite even though the contract approved by the village stated that Ritter was authorized to pay only $196,605 upon delivery of the chassis, with the balance due upon completion.

"I felt I could not agree with the action being taken by the board," Ryan said in an interview, explaining her resignation. She said that the village should have made a claim on Ritter’s bond only if he had been involved in fraud.

"That was not the case here," she said, adding that Ritter had only made a mistake, albeit a "serious" one.

But Malloy said the Village Board was legally bound to pursue all options to recover the damages, including making a claim on Ritter’s bond, which had been issued by the Hartford Company, she said. At press time, the claim was being investigated.

"We’re not going after Ed Ritter personally," Malloy said, adding that it’s not a "vendetta" against him. "This was an officer of the village who had insurance to cover these types of situations."

Ryan’s term was set to expire on March 31, 2010, but Masterson was appointed to fill the seat through March 2009, at which point he said in an interview that he plans on running for reelection to fill out the remainder of the term. If all goes well, he said, he’ll run again in March 2010 for his own two-year term. Masterson said he plans on running on the Democratic ticket because of a difference of opinion on a few local matters with Republicans back in the early 2000s.

Before his appointment, Masterson had been serving on the Citizens’ Budget Committee as well as the Open Space and Parking committees.

"He’s been a tremendous help to me over the last several years," Malloy said in an interview. "He was a committed and energetic member of those committees … he’s demonstrated a real serious nuts-and-bolts interest in the village." Malloy also praised Masterson’s "open mind" and said he’d be able to step right into the job. Now that he’s a member of the governing body, Masterson said he’ll resign from those citizen boards.

After graduating from Irvington High School, Masterson received his bachelor’s degree from Pace University, and is currently finishing up his master’s degree in public administration at the same school.

In his career, he has served as a benefits administrator for three Fortune 500 companies: Scholastic, AAF and Alexander and Alexander. Currently he is employed as assistant to Westchester County Executive Andrew J. Spano in economic development.

In his position with the county, Masterson said he helped Stew Leonard’s Supermarket move to Yonkers, and the Pfizer Conference Center in Rye Brook. While he modestly said, "any position will bring you experience to serve the community," he said he could be helpful to the business base in Irvington because he knows how to find them economic development resources.

One of Masterson’s goals is to keep an austere budget after it had been increasing by about 9 percent in the early 2000s.

"We’re feeling the pinch of that now," Masterson said.

He also said he wants to make sure the waterfront is not overdeveloped.

"We probably have one of the most attractive waterfronts on the Hudson," he said. But when asked, he said he has no opinion on the Bridge Street rezoning proposal, and would need to take a look at it.

Finally, Masterson said a third goal would be to keep the quality of life and character on Main Street and throughout the Village.

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About the Author: Brett Freeman