Josh Ringel, who has worked in the village since June 2015 as assistant to the village manager, is moving on. He’s taking a job as the assistant village administrator in Tarrytown.
Ringel, 28, began working in Scarsdale after he completed a master’s degree in public administration at the Rockefeller School of Government.
His new position will be similar to Assistant Village Manager Ingrid Richard’s job in Scarsdale.
“It’s actually a brand new position in the village of Tarrytown, which is exciting because I get an opportunity to make it my own,” Ringel said.
In Scarsdale, he’s taken on a wide range of work over the years.
“From traffic safety, special events, grants, filming, all the parking stuff … I’ve gotten to touch upon a little bit with every single department,” he said. “Being in the manager’s office, I’m communicating with all the different department heads on a daily basis.”
Having to communicate with department heads and residents as assistant to the village manager, Ringel said one of the biggest skills he’s learned is customer service.
“I get to see a lot of different things,” he said. “And I think that’s really helped me deal with … people calling, emailing or showing up on the spot to say they’re having an issue.”
Ringel said he’s learned that being direct with people is the best way to communicate.
“If you’re direct with someone and you’re not trying to beat around the bush, people will be understanding where you’re coming from,” he said.
Ringel’s previous experience in government was in the state legislature as the deputy chief of staff for a Long Island assemblyman. He also interned in Greenburgh.
“I decided to go to SUNY Albany because I thought it gave me the best opportunities to stay with government,” he said. “I did the legislature and I liked it, but I didn’t think it was quite challenging enough for me. When I was nearing the end of my MPA, I sat down with my local village manager from Hastings and talked about what it was like to be in the field.”
That’s helped him prepare for the next steps in his career in local government, he said. “I dealt with a lot of constituents and I dealt with a lot of lobbyists. It was a very good introduction to government and getting some good professional experience. But what I like about the field I’m in now is it’s administrative.”
With local government, Ringel said he gets to see the hard work pay off almost immediately. As an example, he cited the effort to put a bike repair station by the taxi stand for kids to use on weekends.
“It’s rewarding when you work on the projects and you get to see the outcome,” he said.
During his run in Scarsdale, Ringel had a range of responsibilities, some assigned and some he took on by himself.
One of his biggest projects was tackling parking — parking hours, merchant and consumer parking, permits and license plate readers — Ringel took the issue and looked down every avenue.
He also was responsible for block party applications, grant applications, making sure village officials were all trained to use the village’s systems and writing a guide on how to use the systems.
Reflecting on what makes Scarsdale unique, Ringel said volunteerism is “the core of the community.”
“From the board [of trustees] all the way to the boards and councils, it’s interesting to see so many people [involved],” he said.
It starts when a resident has an idea or an issue, and he or she takes that interest to one of the committees.
“There was someone who was pushing for a couple of handicapped parking spaces near some of our public parks, which we didn’t have,” he said. “She had a need and she’s become involved on one of the boards.”
Ringel said it shows people get involved in the process to make the village a better place.
While Scarsdale grapples with projects like the redevelopment of Freightway and the lights at Butler Field, Ringel will be dealing with different types of projects in Tarrytown.
“They have some interesting grants they’ve been working on for improvements in the downtown and waterfront area,” he said. “I think the thing that makes Tarrytown interesting … is the waterfront is very well developed.”
There’s a park by the water, co-ops by the river and the business community is thriving.
“Even though Tarrytown is both smaller [than Scarsdale] in terms of land and population, they have a bustling downtown and Tarrytown Music Hall, which makes for a unique village,” he said.
Though Ringel is looking forward to his new opportunity in Tarrytown, he said he’s not really saying goodbye. It’s more like “see you later.”