Siligato appointed village treasurer; Krakowski promoted to recreation sup’t
June 13, 2019 at 7:51 a.m.
The Village of Port Chester bid farewell to 11-year Treasurer Leonie Douglas, welcomed back former Treasurer Anthony Siligato and promoted Heather Krakowski to recreation superintendent on Monday, June 3.
Mayor Richard “Fritz” Falanka presented Douglas with a plaque and thanked her for her exemplary service. She began as a consultant shortly after Siligato left and later was appointed treasurer.
Siligato moved on at the end of May 2008 after almost five years as clerk/treasurer to take a job in the Town of Mamaroneck. He served as comptroller/receiver of taxes there before returning to Port Chester as financial specialist on Feb. 4, 2019 to ensure a smooth transition when Douglas retired on May 31. Siligato was appointed treasurer on June 3 at a salary of $170,000.
“New challenges” were his main reason for returning to Port Chester. “Port Chester has significant potential to grow and I’d like to be part of that, part of the financial team,” Siligato said this week.
Siligato hired two of the existing staff in the Finance Department—“my accountant and one of my part-time clerks”—during his first go-round in the village.
“Things are different because things change, the whole landscape of government finances has changed over the years,” Siligato said. “For the better. There is just more increasing standards and guidelines for more transparency and making government more responsible, more accountable. There are a lot of accounting standards and guidelines from the [state] Comptroller’s Office, a lot more reporting now that has to be done that wasn’t as prevalent years ago.”
The new treasurer said he agrees with the mayor’s recent statement at a form-based code workshop that “we have to have development.”
“Redeveloping properties will only help the village tax base,” the treasurer said. “You are now spreading out the tax burden more equitably. When the assessables go up, the whole pie is shifted. In order for municipal government to provide services, it costs. That cost needs to be spread out more fairly. You need an increased tax base. That’s the key.”
Recreation superintendent at last
After working almost 19 years in the Recreation Department, Krakowski was finally appointed to the position she had been filling for some time.
“I’ve always strived to be whatever I could to the village,” she said this week. “My boss [Tom Hroncich] retired [as recreation superintendent] seven years ago. I was trying to do the same work already. I was doing whatever I could to fill those shoes already.
“It’s nice the village wants me to take that title and fill that whole role of parks and programming,” Krakowski added.
She took the civil service test for superintendent of recreation in April 2018 and passed it.
“I think I have always been geared to be in a recreation type field,” Krakowski said. She started as a day camp counselor with the Harrison Day Camp and held other roles at Harrison Rec growing up. Then she worked for the Westchester County Recreation and Parks Department at Saxon Woods Pool and at their main office building and then got a job in Rye Brook where she worked about a year and a half before coming to Port Chester.
“I was always on lots of different teams—softball, tennis, volleyball, this, that and the other thing. I love being with kids. I was a nanny and babysat for every age group. I’ve always been around kids and sports in some way. I like working with the parks so people can use them in different capacities. It was just sort of in me.”
Previously Krakowski held the title of recreation supervisor at a salary of $89,408. Her promotion bumped her pay up to $100,000.
Besides Krakowski, there is an office assistant, recreation assistant and a part-time recreation assistant for soccer in her office.
“We finally got our first full-time recreation assistant,” said Krakowski, increasing the hours of the individual who had worked part-time for several years. “Now [the staffing] is back to what it was when Tom was here.”
The rest of her staff is part-time working in the after-school programs, as camp director, camp counselors and park attendants. “There are over 65-80 staff I rely on during the summer and throughout the year,” she said.