Ralph Suozzi named Garden City village administrator

Ralph Suozzi greets attendees at Garden City Village

Ralph Suozzi greets attendees at Garden City Village Hall after being introduced as the newly-appointed village administrator on March 20, 2014. (Credit: James Escher )

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Ralph Suozzi, who lost a bid for a fifth term as mayor of Glen Cove in November, was named Garden City village administrator Thursday night by the village board.

Suozzi, 57, succeeds Robert Schoelle, who has held the village post for 34 years and will retire March 31.

After he and his wife, Jane, were introduced at village hall Thursday night, Suozzi told the gathering of more than 30 people that he would bring the same passion to Garden City that he brought to his four, two-year terms as mayor of Glen Cove.

"I recognize that I am succeeding someone . . . who leaves behind a rich and distinguished legacy on which I hope to build," Suozzi said. "I'm honored to begin this new chapter in public service."

As village administrator reporting to the mayor and board of trustees, Suozzi will serve as chief operating officer, responsible for leading and managing the daily operational activities of the village. Schoelle, 70, will remain with the village as "a short-term consultant to assist Suozzi in the transition, as needed, under an hourly rate contract approved by the village board," said Carisa Giardino, a village spokeswoman.

Suozzi’s salary would be $190,000 per year, she said. As mayor of Glen Cove, he was paid $100,000 annually; Schoelle is paid more than $200,000 a year as village administrator.

Suozzi, a politically charged Democratic name for years in Glen Cove, said he would continue to live in Glen Cove.

The leaders of both major parties in Nassau County praised Suozzi.

GOP chairman Joseph Mondello called Suozzi a friend and said he knows "he will do a good job for the residents of Garden City."

Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs said Suozzi "certainly has the experience . . . and would be a person who knows how to get the job done."

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