Monday’s Pelham town board meeting was Joseph Solimine’s last one as town supervisor.
But it certainly won’t be the last time he stops by .
“I told the board that I'm only a phone call away and the transition to the new admsinstration will be very smooth,” said Solimine, who is finishing his term as town supervisor at the end of the year.
Solimine, who has served as the town supervisor for 14 years, is calling it quits after a career in public service that spanned nearly 30 years. He served stints as a member and the president of the Pelham school board from 1980 to 1986.
He also served on the town recreation committee for two years, before serving two years as a town councilman. Afterward, he went on to serve as the town’s supervisor.
“Anybody that goes into a position that isn't really salary generated is a volunteer and it’s about giving back to the community,” said Solimine. “I've been very lucky in life and I wanted to give back.”
So, why is he stepping down?
“There’s an Italian expression ‘abasto’,” Solimine said. “That means enough. I was done.”
State Sen. Joe Klein, D-Bronx/Westchester, who as in attendance at Monday’s meeting, described Solimine as being a tough, but dedicated public servant.
“When I came to Pelham seven years ago, he was tough,” Klein said. “He wants you to prove yourself with the same amount of a dedication to the Town of Pelham that he has. For seven years, we worked very well together in ensuring the best for the taxpayers of Pelham.”
Councilman Peter DiPaolo, who ran uncontested for the town supervisor’s seat in November’s general elections, said it was impossible to enumerate all the positive things Solimine has done for the community.
“You think you’ve got the list down and then something else pops up in your head,” Solimine said.
Solimine said he was proud of all the capital improvements that were completed under his watch.
“Two things that stand out in my mind are the renovation of the memorial park, which is for the veterans of all the foreign wars, and, of course, the 9/11 memorial,” Solimine said. “I still can’t talk about it without tearing up. Those are my two greatest accomplishments.”
Solimine, who founded is the Rosol Agency in 1965, said he still planned to work at the insurance agency.
“Everyone is thinking now that I’m retiring from public office, that I’m retiring from working as well,” he said. “You know me well enough to know that if I was retired, I’d go crazy. I’d go nuts.”