Oh Donna! Village Clerk Donna Conkling retires after 20 years in Scarsdale

Oh Donna! Village Clerk Donna Conkling retires after 20 years in Scarsdale

As Deputy Mayor Justin Arest said at the last Donna Conkling Village Board meeting on November 23, “she could be irreplaceable.” Conkling, who has been the glue of the town hall for 20 years, retired this week. In Conkling’s own words, “the village clerk’s office has the privilege of being the reception of Scarsdale Village Hall,” and because of her position, she has come to know so many residents on a personal level.

Beyond managing taxi and parking permits, dog licenses, birth, marriage and death certificates, Conkling had the essential task of managing all elections in accordance with NYS law. Sometimes it wasn’t easy. In controversial elections, she found herself monitoring poll observers, measuring the setbacks of the polling station for lawyers navigating complex regulations, the transition to automated voting machines and a list of election websites in constant evolution. It couldn’t have been easy, but she rarely showed the slightest hint of frustration.

She attended village council meetings for 20 years where she was responsible for recording the debates and publishing the minutes. It’s a lot of late nights. She has served eleven mayors, hundreds of trustees, and sworn in police, firefighters and 165 volunteers on boards and councils – every year!

Still, Conkling accepted it all and seemed to enjoy it, too. In a video of his work on the village’s website, Conkling said, “Being able to make a little difference is fulfilling professionally and personally. “

At his last village board meeting, Conkling long received thanks for his years and years of service.

Mayor Jeanne Veron said: “Anyone who has met Donna knows that she is second to none. Always calm and steady, Donna is the engine behind the scenes that keeps Scarsdale running every day…. Donna performs all of her duties with grace and intelligence. She is a source of information, understanding every nuance and detail of our village, and she makes sure nothing goes through the cracks. Donna knows more than you can imagine about Scarsdale Village, and she’s been the constant through the ups and downs of village life. … “You are extremely capable, warm and wise. You are underestimated in your face and yet outperforming in your results…. you have devoted your heart and soul to your work. You have that magical touch and we have been blessed with your presence.

Randy Whitestone explained that he got to know Conkling during his many years of purchasing parking permits. He said, “She is doing her job efficiently and well… She organized the elections perfectly. Turning to Conkling, he said, “You represent the very best in village government. “

Lena crandall said, “Donna, I will miss you.” Referring to an incident in 2016 regarding the filing of petitions for candidates, Crandall said, “If only I had listened more carefully to the advice you gave me when I was leading the CNC… Thank you for your many years of service. service to Scarsdale.

Jonathan lewis called Conkling, “Efficient, Factual, and Prepared.” He said, “We need more people like you in the public service.

Karen brew said: “You have been a constant force within Scarsdale for 20 years and we are the best… It’s always done with a smile. Thank you for so many years of exceptional service to the community.

Samir Ahuja OK. He said: “Your impact is being felt across Scarsdale. We will carry on your legacy. Thank you for two decades of service.

Justin arest joked, “I’m going through the stages of mourning. I didn’t want to believe it at first – I think maybe I’m in the acceptance phase now. You may be irreplaceable. He recounted a meeting he had with Conkling not long ago regarding the village’s parking permit system. She suddenly remembered an elderly couple who always bought a license that she had not heard from this year. She took note of contacting them to make sure they were okay, saying, “There are so many wonderful people who live in this village.”

Village chief Rob cole read Conkling’s lengthy job description and called her “an accomplished professional”. He said, “His accomplishments are too numerous to list.”

Resident Dara gruenberg waited late at night to comment. She said: “I have had the pleasure of working with Donna Conkling over the past few years in a variety of capacities. She is warm, patient, so generous with her time and always helpful. I don’t think I fully understood the extent of the land covered by the Clerk’s role or Donna’s responsibility until I interviewed her for the Communications Advisory Council video series “Village Voices”. If you are unsure of the clerk’s duties, see the video. You will be amazed. Donna has her hands in everything that happens in the village. By the way, Donna did the whole script from memory in one take! It was extraordinary ! Donna, I will miss our chats and I won’t see your smiling face – now your smiling eyes – when I walk into the village hall. I wish you good things in your next chapter, especially spending time with your beloved and accomplished daughter (and your husband too!) Thank you for your selfless dedication to our community. You are unique and I feel so lucky to have had the privilege of working with you. You represent the best that the Village has to offer its residents.

Madelaine Eppenstein thanked Conkling “for his commitment and service beyond.” She said : ” .

Mayra Kirkendall Rodriguez says, “I will miss you.”

Holding back the tears Conkling had the last word. She said: “I can’t sum up the last 20 years. He flew by. I served 11 mayors and attended hundreds of village council meetings… The decision to retire was very difficult. I have spent many hours thinking about quitting a job that I love… There are so many people to thank – my colleagues at Village Hall, a big thank you to the Trustees who give so much of themselves and to the residents of the village of Scarsdale. My heart is full. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life.

With that there was a standing ovation and a long round of heartfelt applause for a woman who was everyone’s friend in Scarsdale.

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