Waterfront Development Entices New Sleepy Hollow Village Administrator

It’s never a bad beginning to a new job when you get something accomplished before the official start date. So it was probably a good omen that 44-year-old Anthony Giaccio, the new Sleepy Hollow Village Administrator, was able to help out the DPW on July 10, which was 11 days before his official tenure began on July 21.

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Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio

Apparently, there was some kind of mechanical problem at the lighthouse. Giaccio, who replaced Dwight Douglas after he was appointed on June 24 with a three-year contract, was able to get a Westchester County DPW official to assist the Village in fixing the problem. The County official met up with a Village DPW official and Giaccio in front of a deli across the street from Village Hall. And the master multi-tasker got this all accomplished in the middle of an interview with River Journal.

"I felt it was the right time to move on," Giaccio said about his decision to leave the administrator post at Dobbs Ferry, adding that it didn’t hurt to make a bigger salary, which is set at $135,000. He said he was particularly enticed by the "tremendous opportunity" to work on the Village’s main issue — the GM site, something that was made clear to him during the hiring process.

The Ardsley resident — who lives with his wife and stepdaughter, a sophomore in high school — might be just what the Village needs to move forward with the waterfront development. While he has "no opinions on what should go there," he said his master’s thesis at Pace University on waterfront development — with a degree in public administration —places him in a good position to assist residents and their elected officials with the task ahead.

Getting specific, his thesis compared waterfront development efforts in Irvington versus Hastings, and discussed why Irvington has been successful while Hastings remains undeveloped. He said the four components of such a development project must consider environmental issues, community groups, private businesses and the local government. Giaccio said his job would be to assist in the process, identify major issues and work for consensus. But even though he had no opinion on how it should be developed, he said it shouldn’t remain a vacant lot.

" ‘Does the development outweigh the impact?’ should be the main question that officials should consider for any proposal," he said.

And what about the situation facing taxpayers after the Board of Education in the Tarrytown Union Free School District banked on the extra ratables from the GM site and will have spent $66 million to renovate Sleepy Hollow High School and Middle School once their construction is finished? "I would have advised never to do that," Giaccio said.

Outside the GM site, he said his primary job would be to run the day-to-day business of the Village. As a former recreation department director in Dobbs Ferry and Hastings, he said he’s a big fan of community events, and cited his efforts in creating Dobbs Ferry’s "Ferry Fiesta," which has drawn thousands of people to an annual block party. He said he also has a lot of experience in downtown revitalization and plans to work closely with the Sleepy Hollow Chamber of Commerce.

What is one of the smartest things he’s done? Giaccio said his two-week vacation between departing Dobbs Ferry and starting at Sleepy Hollow is up there.

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About the Author: Brett Freeman