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Town Council Chooses Leaders


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The Verona Town Council today chose Dr. Christopher Tamburro to be Verona’s mayor for the next two years, and Jack McEvoy to be deputy mayor.

In a private paper ballot at its reorganization meeting, Council members voted 3-2 for Tamburro, who is halfway through his first term on the Council. Tamburro was the second-place finisher in the 2021 election, behind McEvoy, who was unanimously voted to be deputy mayor. (The mayor leads Council meetings but does not get any special legislative privileges; many other mayoral duties are ceremonial, such as officiating at weddings and reading proclamations.)

Today’s vote came after several weeks of a citizens campaign online and in Council meetings to have Christine McGrath voted mayor because she was the top vote-getter in the May election. Under Verona’s rules, however, the election tally is the deciding factor only if a Council is deadlocked after five rounds of balloting. McGrath received two votes for mayor in the reorganization meeting.

McGrath was also sworn in for her second Council term today by Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr., who represents the district that includes Verona in Congress. “While I am disappointed I did not have the majority of the votes for the mayor position,” McGrath said after the meeting, “I am heartened by the overwhelming support I have in the community. Congratulations to Mayor Chris Tamburro and Deputy Mayor Jack McEvoy, and I look forward to working with them and the entire Council on the challenges and opportunities facing Verona.”

In his acceptance speech, Tamburro said he, too, is looking forward to working with his Council colleagues in the service of Verona. “This is the nature of representative democracy, which expects disagreement within our chambers of government and encourages productive, civil debate in order to make the best decisions on behalf of our constituents,” Tamburro said. “As a council, we must remember this over the next two years. Though this group has accomplished a great deal in a short time, we must continue to navigate competing priorities and balance those with what often seems like an infinite quantity of new issues that arise. We each bring to the dais individual strengths and perspectives that ensure productive discussions and policymaking. We must share our talents and enthusiasm as we govern.”

Mayor Tamburro was sworn in by Pam Priscoe, president of the Verona Board of Education.
Tamburro also unveiled plans for a priority-setting Council retreat so that it can plan its legislative agenda, capital projects, and community engagement programs. “Having led or been involved in strategic planning for multiple public and private organizations, I cannot overstate its importance,” he added. “I anticipate with great hope this collaboration that will allow us to articulate a united vision for Verona – one for which residents and stakeholders can hold us accountable. I hope that the public will join us for the open sessions to provide the valuable feedback that informs our actions.”

McEvoy, who has served as mayor, said that the job of deputy mayor is important. “My role on the Council is not taken lightly, as we have a substantial agenda filled with many projects in motion and many other future goals,” he said. “With my background in building and construction logistics, I know I can continue to aid in many future decisions and provide valuable input. And I believe we can all work together to plan, properly budget, and ensure timely and cost-effective completion of projects.”

“Like my parents did over 60 years ago, our residents, both old and new, have chosen to plant their roots, raise families, and call Verona ‘home’,” McEvoy added. “As a lifelong resident, I have enjoyed the many benefits that this amazing community has to offer. I want to ensure that Verona maintains its small-town charm and warmth for future generations.”

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