By JOHN PURCELL
Recorder News Staff
Third Ward Alderman Chad Majewski will serve as deputy mayor of Amsterdam in 2017 after Fifth Ward Alderman James Martuscello voluntarily stepped aside and nominated him for the position.
Majewski did not foresee his day-to-day role changing drastically after becoming deputy mayor next year, but he has “great pride and honor” to be able to represent the city of Amsterdam when the mayor is unable. Majewski said he will continue serving as the liaison for public safety and recreation departments.
In the absence or incapacity of Mayor Michael Villa, Majewski would act as mayor and “exercise all of the powers and duties of the Office of Mayor” except for the powers to appoint or remove officers and employees and veto actions of the Common Council, according to the city charter. Under the same circumstances with Villa, Majewski would also serve as presiding officer of the Common Council.
Majewski was very happy when fellow aldermen unanimously approved his appointment as deputy mayor for 2017 at their last meeting.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity to have been elected 3rd Ward alderman and now deputy mayor,” Majewski said. “I’m always available to answer any questions, or listen to any complaints or suggestions any resident in our city has. The more I can learn about the needs and wants of our community the better I can serve the public.”
Martuscello said Majewski is very detail orientated and non-political, which he believed would serve Majewski well as deputy mayor.
“I thought that he was ready to be the next deputy mayor and that’s why I nominated him,” Martuscello said. “I’m glad we all agreed upon it.”
Martuscello said during his first year in office he worked closely with Villa and Majewski on various issues. Martuscello said Majewski was very willing to do research on his own about issues.
Majewski appreciated the support he received from Martuscello, who had previously served as an alderman.
“Alderman Martuscello has been a great mentor to me during my first year as an alderman,” Majewski said. “Anytime I had a question about something that took place in the past or or needed a listening ear he has always been there for me.”
Villa believed Majewski would do a great job as deputy mayor and Martuscello would remain involved with issues.
“Chad has been very interested in what’s going on and he’s been very involved,” Villa said. “I think it will be a great learning experience for him, especially when I’m not able to attend something he’ll be able to step right in.”
Majewski was proud how aldermen and the mayor worked together this year compared to prior years.
“I think we all have the understanding that we can’t always win, but when we compromise we all win in the end,” Majewski said.
Martuscello also said the environment within the Common Council and with the mayor is different from when he last served. Martuscello served as an alderman for 18 years until Richard Leggiero toppled him. A decade later, Martuscello retook the seat from Leggiero during the November 2015 election.
Martuscello believed his biggest fault while previously serving on the council was having “a lot of irons in the fire” and not addressing issues in the same way as this year.
Supporting the mayor, regardless of party lines, is another important element to effectively tackling issues, according to Martuscello.
“If you don’t support the mayor and you want to do in-fighting, nothing will get done. That’s the big difference I learned,” Martuscello said.
The year Martuscello lost his re-election bid, he admitted there was a lot of infighting and bickering between elected officials.
“We were all defeated that year and rightfully so. We deserved to be defeated,” Martuscello said. “We just fought, we argued with the mayor, we argued among ourselves and nothing got done. …  If you don’t learn by that then you’re not going to be in office too long and nothing in the city is going to get accomplished.”
Majewski was surprised about the amount of time required to make a difference while serving as an alderman. Majewski said he often will leave his home around 7 a.m. and not return until around 8 p.m., with him also working outside of his service to the city.
“I make sure when someone contacts me that I am not only listening to the problem, but I research it, find an answer and call back with my findings or a resolution,” Majewski said.
Going forward, Majewski said he would like to reach a resolution over whether or not to implement an in-house ambulance service through the Amsterdam Fire Department. He also has been studying the budget to try and find new revenue streams for the city.
“I want to continue to support our services and manpower and not have to cut now or down the road,” Majewski said. “The only way to do that is to continue bringing in additional revenue.”