ARMONK, N.Y. -- Guy Mezzancello, North Castle's newest councilman, was given a warm welcome on Friday night when he was sworn in and congratulated by colleagues.
“I feel this is a privilege to serve on this board,” he said.
Mezzancello, a Republican, was elected in a November special election when he defeated Democratic incumbent José Berra by just 22 votes. Berra was appointed to the seat to fill a vacancy left because Michael Schiliro became supervisor.
Mezzancello was elected to fill the remainder of the seat's term, which runs until the end of the year. The seat it up for a regular election this coming November.
Administering the oath of office was state Supreme Court Justice William Giacomo, who fondly recalled Mezzancello's role as a commissioner in a local baseball program.
Giacomo said that he moved to town about 12 years ago and his son, then 8, wanted to play baseball. He was referred to Mezzancello and left him a message.
“Within an hour, he without knowing me, he called me back," he said. "He made me feel very comfortable.”
Giacomo added that “his dedication convinced me to spend about seven years coaching boys in this town also.”
The judge credited Mezzancello with the addition of a Little League-regulation baseball field at Lombardi Park, including donating his own money to it, along with helping to arrange what is now an annual baseball trip to Cooperstown, N.Y.
Mezzancello's fellow Town Board members spoke supportively.
“We have a real good board,” Schiliro said.
“I welcome you, look forward to working with you, and congratulations,” Councilman Barry Reiter said.
Councilwoman Barbara DiGiacinto called her new colleague “a definite asset to our town.”
Around two dozen attended the ceremony, including Berra and regional elected officials.
Mezzancello, in his remarks, noted that he and Berra did a “great campaign” and added that it was "clean."
Westchester County Legislator Michael Smith, who said he wished Mezzancello best of luck, also thanked Berra for his service and for running.
To Berra, Smith added, “It's not as glamorous as it looks, is it?”
“It's very glamorous, but it's much more gratifying than glamorous,” Berra replied.
State Assemblyman David Buchwald added his praise for the new councilman.
“You are joining a fantastic local government,” he said.
Video of Mezzancello's inauguration is available here.
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