Haverstraw lawmakers set the political tone for the town at last week’s reorganization meeting. During the January 5 meeting, Town Supervisor Howard T. Phillips set the guidelines for the new year and appointed officials to various posts.
Isidro Cancel reappointed deputy supervisor, embattled fire safety inspector Fred Viohl receives more duties
BY KOREY WILSON
One of the meeting’s top appointments was Councilman Isidro “Papo” Cancel, who was appointed to the position of deputy supervisor. The deputy supervisor would assume all supervisory roles if the town supervisor is unable to lead. Councilman Cancel, who has served on the Haverstraw Town Board for 12 years, said he is “happy and confident” about the appointment. “I am proud that the supervisor has confidence in me,” he said.
Supervisor Phillips said he picked Cancel for the position because “his dedication and commitment to the people of Haverstraw is extraordinary. I think his heart is there. He has been doing a great job and will continue to do a great job.”
Cancel also served as deputy supervisor in 2011. Aside from his municipal duties, he has been teaching for 35 years and served as a volunteer firefighter for the last 43 years. He is currently a guidance counselor at Fieldstone Secondary School in Thiells and serves as president of the Head Start board. “It’s all about helping people, especially the less fortunate. It’s a rewarding thing,” Cancel told the Rockland County Times.
Phillips also reappointed Frederick Viohl as fire safety inspector in spite of vitriol aimed at him over his handling of the Garnerville Terminal disaster in his capacity as West Haverstraw Village fire inspector. In fact, Phillips said, Viohl would have “greater duties” this time around. “We just took the position and created two part-time positions at the same pay,” said Phillips. “Half of the time, he will handle zoning matters where we really need the additional help. The other half, he will continue to focus on his duties as fire inspector. We think we’ll be more effective in serving the public by having these two positions so he can have greater expansion.”
Other notable reappointments were Michael Gamboli to director of finance, Alex Guarino as confidential assistant to the supervisor and William Stein as town attorney. Supervisor Phillips also filled other roles such as Animal Control officer, town historian, grant writer, members for the ethics Board and youth Board, among others. All appointments are for a term of one year, expiring on December 31, 2012.