Village welcomes Mike Nuzzolese as new mayor, bids farewell to Kyle Roddey

Roddey steps down after seven years, and many challenges, to become assistant vice principal at Goshen High School

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  • Kyle Roddey with Goshen Police Chief James Watt (Photo by Geri Corey)

  • Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus (left) congratulates Kyle Roddey at his last meeting as mayor (Photo by Geri Corey)

  • Kyle Roddey (left) and Goshen Town Councilman Ken Newbold (Photo by Geri Corey)

By Geri Corey

— Village of Goshen Trustee Mike Nuzzolese has taken over the mayor’s seat that was occupied by Kyle Roddey for the last seven and a half years.

Roddey stepped down as mayor to become assistant vice principal at Goshen High School. His last official meeting was held at the Goshen Senior Center on Sept. 6. Nuzzolese began his new job at noon on Monday, Sept. 10.

Nuzzolese's interim position will be official when he’s sworn in during the Sept. 24 village board meeting. He was born in Goshen and, in fact, has lived on the same street for 63 years.

“I’m comfortable here. Goshen has everything I need,” said Nuzzolese. “My family is here and many of my friends who I grew up with are still here.”

Nuzzolese worked for the village, in the Department of Public Works, for 37 years. He became superintendent of the department in 1995. Before that he worked for the Town of Goshen for four years, from 1974 to 1979.

He has served as trustee on the village board for nearly five years and plans to run for mayor in the March 2019 village election. It’s a two-year term.

Roddey said he’s comfortable handing the reins over to Nuzzolese.

“The village will be in strong hands," said Roddey. "Mike makes decisions on what’s best for the community. Roddey was, at age 25, the youngest person ever elected mayor in Goshen. He's stepping down at age 32.

He said Goshen now has a tax base higher than when he took office.

“That’s so important now and into the future,” he said.

'Challenging and joyous all at one time'Roddey had a lot to deal with during his tenure — removing an old landfill from village property, lawsuits, the recession, the closing of the Orange County Government Center and its economic impact on the village's downtown, dealing with a pricey sewer plant, and more.

But he creatively brought a new liveliness to the village that brought attention to local businesses through art walks, the painted trotters display, pianos decorated by artists arrayed on village streets, the tree lighting ceremony, the New Year's Eve ball drop in church park, and the upgrading of Market Street from an alley to parklike outdoor seating, beautified with flowers. All these elements encourage people to come to the village.

“I had many groups working with me,” said Roddey. He thanked them, his staff, department heads, and his legislative board.

“My legislative branch is as good as it comes," he said. "It’s the way to get things done.”

He said he’s been blessed to serve here, and has persevered because of the team effort.

“It’s been challenging and joyous all at one time,” Roddey said.

Village of Goshen Police Chief James Watt had high praise for Roddey at his last official board meeting.

“Mayor Roddey is as stand-up as they come," Watt said. "He’s the best in the state. He has a love of learning and a love of community. He’s professional and hard working.

"You always had a steady hand, and I always looked to you for guidance.”

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