has been the Village Clerk of New Hyde Park for the past seven and a half years. He is currently serving his second full four-year term; Farrell started out filling a term that was vacated.
Clerks are basically the chief operating officers of a municipality, Farrell said. He is the budget officer, elections commissioner, receiver of taxes and purchasing director, among other things. Clerks tend to run for their position whenever the mayor does, Farrell explained, adding that most clerk terms are two years.
The work that Farrell does as Village Clerk/Treasurer can require up to 70 hours a week of work, Farrell said. He added that he's been used to working long hours because he did such as a financial planner at Merrill Lynch and Paine Webber UBS.
Farrell has put a decent amount of elbow grease into his job, literally. Describing Farrell's work for the Village, Mayor Daniel Petruccio said during a January Village Board meeting that Farrell's "been known to have a plunger in his hand, pliers and a screwdriver another minute and then the budget sheets at another time."
Farrell says that he helps out with things like the plumbing when needed because he's "a little handy" and "it saves money."
Some of the things that Farrell is most proud of working on in his tenure are the youth programs that he's helped coordinate. This can be seen in Farrell helping to create the revitalized or trying to finish the basement of Village hall to create a lounge area with TVs where area kids can hang out and play air hockey, ping pong and basketball as well as play music and dance.
Farrell's fondest memories of his time in Village hall have been the re-opening of the , the ribbon cutting of the pocket parks on Jericho a few years ago and the various tree lighting ceremonies.
On Feb. 28, Farrell will become Village administrator in Floral Park. He hopes to continue to be involved in the Village; he will still be a resident of Garden City Park.
Of his new position in Floral Park, Farrell said in a statement, "I am extremely excited about the opportunity to work for the Village Board and the people of Floral Park. Floral Park is a great community with a full service Village, rich history and so much to offer its residents; a first class police department, court, public works, recreation department, building department, library, television studio, historical society and staff."
Farrell said he will miss his "excellent staff" which has become "like a family" and he enjoyed working with the Village Board who "are very hands on and in government for the right reasons -- for the people."
Eileen Raguseo, deputy treasurer, noted Farrell has been a "pleasure" to work with. She said she'll miss his sense of humor and the "great atmosphere" that he created.
"We're all hard workers, but we bonded together," Raguseo said.
Of his style as Village clerk, Farrell said that he tried to "lead by example, trust his employees" and create a fun atmosphere that people want to work in. If he had any advice to the next person filling this role, he said they should "maintain the family type of atmosphere and always remember that you work for the people."
Mayor Petruccio characterized Farrell as someone who "really embraced the job" and learned every nuance to his position. Petruccio added that Farrell was "always willing to improve what he was doing" which "drove him to be a great asset to the Village."
Petruccio commended Farrell for working with Trustee Donald Barbieri and Trustee Lawrence Montreuil on the downtown project and helping to get funding available for that. Farrell was also someone who was "constantly thinking outside the box", Petruccio said, and though some things might seem difficult if not impossible, Farrell would always say, "Let me see how we can make that happen."
As a face for the Village, Petruccio said that Farrell was a great one as no one seemed to have a negative thing to say about him.
Of Farrell's departure, Petruccio explained that it's like the bittersweet moment of watching your kid go off to college because you know that they need to go but they'll come back.