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Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano Appoints Yonkers Board of Education Trustee as New Deputy Mayor

Post Date:09/19/2017 3:47 PM

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YONKERS, NY – September 19, 2017 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today announced his appointment of long-time government and community leader and Yonkers Board of Trustee Jim Cavanaugh as his new Deputy Mayor. Cavanaugh will replace Susan Gerry who accepted a position with Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) starting in October. As Deputy Mayor, Cavanaugh will oversee the operations and policies of city departments and agencies.

“Jim joins us with an impressive career that spans four decades,” said Mayor Spano. “There is no doubt Jim’s experience as a seasoned civic leader, former elected official and public advocate will benefit our city as Deputy Mayor. We look forward to him joining our team.”

Jim Cavanaugh most recently was an associate with Empire Strategic Planning, a government relations and lobbying firm. From 2005 to 2010 Cavanaugh served as president of the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), which oversees 92 acres of land in lower Manhattan.  During his six years leading the Authority, Cavanaugh lowered the annual operating budget from $31.8 million annually to $28.6 million, even as park acreage was increased and new community facilities were built. While Cavanaugh was BPCA president the Authority also collaborated with the New York City School Construction Authority to build P.S. 276, which was the first school built according to NYC’s new sustainable guidelines for schools. From 1994 until 2004 Cavanaugh was the elected Town Supervisor of Eastchester. Among his accomplishments, besides controlling tax growth, were a comprehensive revision of the Town zoning code, institution of advanced life support ambulance service, institution of after-school day care, and renovation of the Town’s Lake Isle recreational complex. Cavanaugh has served for the past three years as a member of the Yonkers School District Board of Trustees, where he served as Chair of the Facilities Committee. He is also a past member of the Yonkers Parking Authority Board of Directors. Cavanaugh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Fordham University.

"It's an honor to join Mayor Spano as he continues to turn the City around. I look forward to helping him complete his agenda, and I congratulate Sue Gerry on her outstanding record of the past six years," said Jim Cavanaugh.

Commenting on Gerry’s departure, Mayor Spano said, “As an attorney, public policy expert and strategist, Sue served this administration with distinction and professionalism. Her talents guided many of this administration’s most notable and proud accomplishments to date. On behalf of those who have served alongside Sue, we thank her for the unyielding dedication and leadership she demonstrated for Yonkers and our residents. We wish Sue much success in her future endeavors.” 

Mayor Mike Spano appointed Susan Gerry as the City’s first female Deputy Mayor in January 2012. During her tenure, Gerry was instrumental in the successful consolidation of the administrative functions of the Yonkers Board of Education and the City of Yonkers. She also spearheaded the strategic planning and management of Rebuild Yonkers Schools, the city’s joint school reconstruction initiative which was passed by the New York State Legislature earlier this year. Other major accomplishments include the “Ban the Barges” campaign, which led to the suspension of the U.S. Coast Guard’s proposal to add more barge anchorages along the Hudson River, and while serving as a board member of the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency, Gerry helped Yonkers secure over $1 billion in private development. Gerry also served as a board member to the Yonkers Economic Development Corporation, the New Main Street Development Corporation, and Yonkers Pier Development, Inc. as well as the Westchester Municipal Officials Association.

“It has been a privilege and my great pleasure to serve in Mayor Spano’s administration and the people of the City of Yonkers as Deputy Mayor for the last six years,” said Susan Gerry. “My position as Deputy Mayor has provided me with unparalleled career and life experience and I am very proud of the work we accomplished here together.”

Cavanaugh is expected to join the Mayor’s Office as Deputy Mayor on October 2.

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