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Amsterdam, NY ,

Jarrett Carroll/Recorder staff New Amsterdam Controller Ronald Wierzbicki unlocks his office at City Hall on Sunday after being sworn into office.

Jarrett Carroll/Recorder staff New Amsterdam Controller Ronald Wierzbicki, right, jokes with family and friends after being sworn into office by Montgomery County Court Judge Felix Catena at City Hall on New Year's Day. His wife, Jean, at left, held the Bible for the ceremony.


New controller sworn in

Monday, January 02, 2012 - Updated: 1:49 AM


Recorder News Staff

Amsterdam has a new bookkeeper and budget officer after Ronald Wierzbicki was given the oath of office Sunday as the city's newest controller.

Montgomery County Court Judge Felix Catena swore in Wierzbicki to the four-year term at 3 p.m. in the lobby of the City Hall in front of family and friends. His wife, Jean, held the Bible that was used to administer the oath given by Catena as the new controller promised to perform and uphold the duties of his elected position.

After officially taking office Wierzbicki thanked his friends and family -- including his wife and two daughters as well as their families -- and to Catena for performing the ceremony.

Also in attendance were Amsterdam Police Chief Gregory Culick, and newly-elected fellow Democrats 2nd Ward Alderwoman Valerie Beekman and 2nd Ward Supervisor Jeffrey Stark, who is also the city's Democratic Committee chairman. Mayor Ann Thane, also a Democrat, was not in attendance.

"These are all family and friends here today and the words I would like to say to them and the voters in the various wards who supported me is thank you to all of you," Wierzbicki said. "I look forward to doing the best that I can for the people of Amsterdam."

Beating out Republican Matthew Agresta in a tight race in November, Wierzbicki brings decades worth of accounting experience and financial record keeping and said he also hopes to bring some order to what is sure to be a turbulent budget season.

The new controller said the transition has not been that smooth with outgoing Republican Controller Heather Reynicke.

"For the record, I have been in City Hall on several occasions but she was always absent, which I'm sure was because of medical reasons or other such issues," he said.

Part of the problem has been accessing the city's computerized accounting system.

"I can't even get into the computer yet because a password and user name has to be given to me," said Wierzbicki. "I've been told the county will be here on Tuesday to assist me and give me the tools that I need to complete the job."

Wierzbicki gave a quick tour of his new office to his family and thanked everyone once again for attending and wished them all a happy new year.

On Tuesday, the rest of the city officials will be sworn in and appointed at 6 p.m., also in the City Hall lobby, prior to the year's first Common Council Meeting. Thane will be sworn into her second four-term of office as Amsterdam's first female mayor, and the city council will be welcoming two new Democrats.

Former 4th Ward Supervisor and new 4th Ward Alderman David Dybas and Beekman will both be given the oath of office then.

Additionally, 1st Ward Alderman Joseph Isabel, 3rd Ward Alderwoman Gina DeRossi, and 5th Ward Alderman Richard Leggiero -- all Republicans -- will be sworn in as well.

The swearing in ceremonies the reorganization meeting on Tuesday will also entail a number of appointments including the city's corporation counsel, the deputy mayor, commissioner of health and members of the Amsterdam Industrial Agency (AIDA).

The regular Common Council meeting is slated to follow the ceremony, where refreshments will be provided for the visiting public.



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