Babylon Village Board trustee Mary Adams became the village’s first female mayor on Friday, replacing Ralph Scordino who died earlier this week.
Trustee members approved Adams during a special meeting via Zoom.
"As humbled and honored I am for taking a leadership role as your mayor, it is bittersweet on a personal level," Adams, 58, said. "I lost a confidant, a teacher, a mentor, a friend and my mayor."
The public will get to vote in a special election March 16 to fill out the rest of Scordino’s term, which ends in 2023.
New York State Police said Friday a call was made at 10:16 p.m. Wednesday for Scordino, 71, who went missing while hunting in Cochecton in Sullivan County where he had a second home. Family members along with local and state authorities searched for him. On Thursday, at 6:44 a.m., Scordino was found dead on his property. State police said the preliminary investigation revealed he died of natural causes. Funeral arrangements have not been made public.
As mayor, Adams, who will take the $15,000 salary, can appoint her replacement for trustee. That position remains unfilled and it was not immediately known when that will happen.
Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer administered the oath to Adams and remembered meeting her as a concerned resident after superstorm Sandy occurred in 2012.
"She wasn’t happy with the town government in particular and she, Ralph and I met and Mary gave me a whole host of issues that I needed to respond to," Schaffer said. "Ralph kind of looked at me as he was walking out and gave me the eyes and just thanked me for doing that and that was the start of a beautiful relationship where we worked very well together."
Adams is a real estate broker for Century 21 in the village and is a past president of the Long Island Board of Realtors.
Adams has lived in the village since 2003 and serves on the executive board of the Babylon Beautification Society and previously sat on the Architecture Review Board.
When Adams joined the board in 2016 as a trustee her duties included running parks and recreation and the concerts at the gazebo. She recalled getting calls daily from Scordino in the morning.
"He would make a few jokes, ask me how I was, see the items in the agenda for today and of course give me some words of wisdom or educate me on a matter or two that he needed to educate me on," she said. "Today, that call did not happen."