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North Castle Daily News

North Castle Town Board Appoints José Berra to Fill the Fifth Town Board Seat

January 23, 2014
Supervisor Mike Schiliro's seat was vacated after he was elected and sworn in as North Castle Town Supervisor at the beginning of the year. The Town Board considered several candidates to fill the vacant Town Board position. The appointment of José Berra to the position was confirmed in the executive session and unanimously voted upon at the Town Board meeting on January 22, 2014. 

There are 21 potential vacancies for the Town Board's volunteer advisory boards and paid positions, said Supervisor Schiliro. In order to fill these positions, the Town Board plans to interview potential candidates in an executive session. Personnel issues are kept confidential for candidates who may be interested in specific positions but may not be appointed, and the process protects their reputations, if they are not selected.  

José Berra ran for the position of North Castle Councilman in the November 2013 election and lost the election with 1,461 votes, or 22% of the votes. The winning candidates, Barbara DiGiacinto and Barry Reiter, both received 1,882 votes, or 28% of the votes. Incumbent John Cronin placed fourth with 1,403 votes, or 21% of the votes.  

"José has a broad background as a CPA and an attorney," said Schiliro. "And with his acceptance, we will gladly have him join us on the Town Board with his skill set that will complement everything that we do here."

Berra's position is a short-term appointment until the end of 2014. Then a special election will be held in North Castle to fill the councilman's seat in the November 2014 elections. The elected town councilman in November 2014 will fill the last year of Schiliro's four-year term, which expires in December 2015. The office will be up for election again in November 2015.

José Berra thanked the Town Board and his supporters. "I'm totally flattered. It's an honor to to serve North Castle and a privilege to live here." Berra moved to North Castle about 25 years ago. He hopes that residents can keep in mind that we're all neighbors and we should work together, even though there are, and undoubtedly will continue to be, differences of opinions and controversial issues. Acknowledging that there are some issues that people feel strongly about, Berra asked that everyone please work together in a constructive and polite manner to help maintain how good a place this is and to strive to improve a wonderful town with amazing resources that should not be taken for granted, including great people and great beauty.
Berra will be sworn in as a member of the North Castle Town Board shortly. 

Town Board Announcements January 22, 2014    

January 23, 2014
The North Castle Supervisor's office is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In addition, Supervisor Mike Schiliro will be holding office hours on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon. For Saturday appointments, please call Mindy Berard at the Supervisor’s office at 273-3001. Prior to working as Schiliro’s confidential secretary, Berard worked as the aide to former County Legislator John Nonna. 

Berard is a Pleasantville resident who is serving her second, three-year term as trustee on the Pleasantville village board, and was also Deputy Mayor of the Village.

Town Board member Barbara DiGiacinto says she will be holding open and informal meetings on the first Saturday of every month at the North White Plains Community Center on Clove Road from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. DiGiacinto is fulfilling her campaign promise to be more available to North White Plains residents. "I will be there to meet with residents, to hear your issues and your ideas." DiGiacinto said she will be there on February 1 and hopes some of her fellow board members will be in attendance as well.

Barbara DiGiacinto, as the appointed Town Board liaison to the North Castle Library, said the Library Trustees are seeking candidates to fill a vacancy on the Library Board of Trustees. All North Castle residents interested in applying for the position should fill out an online application at: There are 10 Library Board Trustees who each serve a five-year term. The Trustees are encouraging North White Plains residents to apply.