Ossining Supervisor's Ride to the Top

Town of Ossining Supervisor Sue Donnelly talks about growing up in the Bronx, her career in the grocery industry and being town supervisor.

The Town of Ossining's supervisor has had an interesting ride on the way to running the municipality.

Sue Donnelly was born in Providence, Rhode Island, but at the age of 15 her parents moved to the Bronx. She met her husband in high school and after her senior year the two attended Iona College. She graduated with a degree in business management and then two got married.

Donnelly started out her career as a bookkeeper in a grocery store. She then got a job at D'Agostono grocery in New York City, where she worked for almost a decade. She was a front-end manager for the company and then helped bring digital scanning to their checkout registers.

Donnelly says she remembers a couple interesting policies that stores used to have when she began her career.

"When you're running a store in the mid-70s, as a woman, you were allowed to run a store, but you were not allowed to lock the door at the end of the night."

Donnelly says she had to ask someone, such as the store's dairy manager, for help locking the door during closing time.

After working at D'Agostono grocery, Donnelly then went into business for herself in 1989, launching Linc II Retail Solutions, a company that she still runs.

says she applies what she has learned in her industry, when it comes to problem solving here in the town. For example, when she is changing over a store's cash register system, she doesn't make any assumptions and keeps an open mind.

"You never take any preconceived notions in there with you… You go in and you identify what the operation is like and then you make decisions. You help the people move in a direction that will help them to be successful," says Donnelly.

The town supervisor says one of the things that she is most proud of is how she and her fellow board members reacted to the economic downturn when she was a village trustee.

"I think that I was instrumental in working with my fellow board members to work on our budget. We reacted to the recession as the recession was beginning... to move the village in a direction of being much more business-like," says Donnelly.

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Other issues that Donnelly worked on as a trustee included making sure that the waterfront's ferry dock left room for a village pier.

"If you walk out on the new ferry dock… you will notice that there is a four-foot platform, and then the ferry dock goes off 22 degrees to the north. That was a big gain for us because it allows us, in the future when there's money available, to put a village pier out straight and still have your ferry dock."

These days Donnelly continues to work on the sharing of services between the town and the village to help save money. Yesterday, the town . Officials say the move will result in improved services while reducing costs for all residents.

Other issues that Donnelly is working on include improving the town's infrastructure and selling the town's former police station.  As she works towards these goals, she says she continues to utilize best business practices when it comes to working on the town's budget. She also stresses that she wants to get ideas and opinions from everyone, explore all options and have everyone be a part of the decision-making process when it comes to the future of the town.

"I want Ossining to move in the direction that makes the community affordable to live in through tax relief, but done with 100% input of the residents and 100% of the employees," said Donnelly.


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