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McDermott unanimously approved as Village of Lewiston recreation director

LEWISTON – The Village Board on Monday unanimously approved the appointment of Brendan R. McDermott as recreation director to succeed longtime director Marianne L. Gitterman, who is retiring at the end of May.

McDermott, 33, of Lewiston, was one of four candidates for the part-time job, which runs from May to September. Gitterman, 66, plans to stay on as a consultant through the end of June.

The new director worked for the village for eight years as a recreation leader and has come back as needed to fill in while he was in college.

In addition to his experience with the village, he also has a bachelor’s degree in sports management and a master’s in education and school counseling both from Niagara University. He is a 2000 graduate of Lewiston-Porter High School.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be working in the community where I live,” McDermott said Tuesday

He said he hopes to bring some new energy to the Recreation Department and wants to expand some of the popular sports programs.

“We’re going to take it slow and analyze what’s in place and look at what programs are bringing in a lot of people and which programs aren’t and make adjustments from there, but we definitely are going to look at bringing in more sports programs,” McDermott said.

The board also adopted a resolution to participate in the countywide government efficiency plan.

The plan, which is funded by the state’s Tax Freeze Credit, will provide tax refunds to homeowners, about a $60 annual rebate for a home assessed at $100,000 if their budget increase stays below 2 percent.

The tax rate for the village was 1.68 percent for 2015-16, and Mayor Terry C. Collesano said the rate for village taxpayers is expected to remain below the threshold, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

“We keep a very close eye on our expenses each year, and if there is an emergency we have contingency money to fall back on,” Collesano said. “That’s why, each year, we try to fill up our reserves.”

He said that for years, the village has been sharing services, equipment and personnel not only with the Town of Lewiston, but also with the Town of Porter and the Village of Youngstown, and even has responded with help for the City of Niagara Falls.