Although he has never owned a home in the village, Cavallaro has served as counsel for the Village, Planning and Zoning boards since 2004.
Cavallaro’s term has spanned three different mayoral runs under former Mayors Michael Martino and John Fitzpatrick and most recently under Mayor Steven Ecklond, all of whom he praised on his way out.
“I’ve had a wonderful and exciting possibility to represent a group of individuals that have acted in the best interest of the village at the forefront,” he said. “It may sound cliché, but I only hope that the village is in a better position today through all of our work.”
Trustee Stephen Quigley said that Cavallaro was an ideal village attorney not just because of an encyclopedic knowledge of the law, but because of his ability to simply convey things to those he served in terms that could be easily understood.
“What struck me with John, was not only his amazing grasp of the hundreds and laws, rules and regulations that affect municipal government,” he said. “It’s the nuance of (knowing) what is behind these laws and how to stumble through the meat grinder in Albany. He takes that and puts it in ways we can understand.”
Frank Fish, a consultant who has worked on countless projects in the village and nearby municipalities, noted that the village was lucky to have such consistency from their village attorney’s office.
“What struck me in working with John and being an outside consultant, is that he’s been consistent, but he’s also been dependable and has a tremendous follow through,” he said. “We learned to rely on that and knew those things would be there. You have a good setup where you’ve had an attorney for all three boards.”
Gary Gjertsen, who has served as deputy village attorney since before Cavallaro was appointed, will assume his position directing the board on all legal issues. He joked that he’ll likely end up talking to his former boss more than ever as he seeks his advice.
“I’m going to miss John tremendously, but I know I’m going to bother him for a very long time now. We’ll be speaking a lot more now,” he said. “I want to thank the board for having faith in me to follow up John. I have huge shoes to fill, but I’m going to try me best and work as hard as I can.”
Ecklond summed up the board’s sentiments about Cavallaro by reminding him he’ll always have a home in Tuckahoe.
“Even though you’ve never lived in Tuckahoe, you’ve always gone the extra mile as if this is your own home,” he said to Cavallaro at his final meeting. “And you should know, Tuckahoe will always be your home.”
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