Board of Finance
Russ has been a financial professional for over 28 years, and recently transitioned from a successful career at IBM to become the CFO for the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) in Montvale, NJ. Since moving to Ridgefield in 2013, Russ has been active as a leader in Scouting BSA Troop 431 and on the Parish Council of Saint Elizabeth Seton Church, where he served as President during his last year on the Council. He lives in town with his wife and two college-aged sons, and enjoys participating in endurance events in his spare time.
What office are you running for?
What are the main issues facing the Board of Finance?
Board of Finance
There are a few issues facing the town today, including the effect of COVID-related spending, which will now continue into the next year, the replenishment of our reserve funds, and the continued mandates that originate in the Federal and State governments. Ultimately, though, it's a question of prioritization, and of growing our town's economy. Ridgefield was able to weather the challenges of the last year thanks in part due to the high turnover of property in town, and the transfer taxes associated, but we can't expect that to continue indefinitely.
In addition, the town will continue to face higher costs related to the pandemic, increasing pension costs, and eventually higher interest rates on our debt. All of this must be well managed and planned in our long term outlooks.
Finally, the investments we need to make in town, both in maintenance and in new infrastructure, will require deep analysis and strong decision-making by the board on behalf of the entire town - the economic diversity of our residents must continue to be a factor in that decision-making.
Why are you the right candidate for the BOF this year?
I've had a long career in organizational financial management, and I'm now in a role that affords me the time to be an active member of the Board. Along the way, I've had to make tough decisions on how to best balance the short-term and long-term impacts of investments and spending, just as the Board must do today. While we all hope that the personal health effects of the pandemic are going away, the economic effects will linger, potentially for years. Funding that other governments are providing right now may not be as available in near future. Smart, balanced decision making now by the Board will help to ensure the right long-term investments and taxation decisions on behalf of the current and potential future residents. My background, experience, and perspective will help to make smarter decisions on behalf of all of us.
What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy endurance athletics, like running and long-distance cycling, keeping abreast of politics, business and leadership topics, as well as crosswords and other puzzles.