MOUNT VERNON – Mayor Richard W. Thomas appointed who he refers to as a ‘lifelong Mount Vernon resident’ as the city’s newest Commissioner of the Department of Public Works. Monday, June 5th. The DPW was previously led by Commissioner Ralph Uzzi, whose position was vacated earlier this year by the Mount Vernon City Council when it was determined he actually resided in New Jersey and did not meet the residency requirements.
Mayor Thomas said Commissioner Joseph Nigro has decades of experience in the construction and infrastructure industries and his work will focus on improving the city’s streets, but despite being referred to as a longtime Mount Vernon, Nigro listed he lives in New Rochelle, NY on his Facebook page.
“His father paved all the roads in Mount Vernon in the ’60s and the ’70s,” said Thomas during a press conference Wednesday. “He knows how to train the department, implement quality control, but more importantly make sure that we build up Mount Vernon as we build out the department.”
Nigro said he grew up in Mount Vernon and that he wanted to see the city restored.
“The mayor sold me on the growth and the potential and his vision. It’s so enlightening to see,” said Nigro.
Nigro will be paid an annual salary of $125,173, according to the mayor’s office.
City Hall employees had been outspoken about what they alleged as the racist demeanor of Nigro’s predecessor, Ralph Uzzi toward the black community service workers.
Nigro is the latest appointment of the Thomas Administration that has seen several key appointees that are no longer working for the city because they resigned or had been suspended or fired in the 18 months since Mayor Thomas has been in office.
According to Mayor Thomas, Commissioner Nigro and his family have strong ties to the Mount Vernon community, where his father’s construction company – which Mr. Nigro once worked for – previously held contracts to re-pave Mount Vernon’s streets.
Mayor Thomas said that Commissioner Nigro will now be tasked with overseeing more than 18 miles of city streets after New York State Sen. Jeff Klein secured more than $1 million in funding to repair Mount Vernon roadways.