I am writing to announce the retirement of Bill Finkeldey, a long-time and beloved employee of the village. Bill was the Village's Youth Services Coordinator and ran a multitude of programs for our village's young people. He was hired 31 years ago, in part to address a burgeoning problem at the time of narcotic addiction and difficult times as the village was in transition after the shutdown of the last industrial plants on our waterfront. Over the next 31 years, Bill's charge evolved with the times, but he was always dedicated to our kids. His warm heart and caring devotion touched literally hundreds of lives, and there are any number of adults who will tell you they owe their lives to Bill.
Bill's service will be acknowledged at the beginning of the next Board Meeting, this coming Tuesday, March 5th, at 7:30PM. We will present Bill with a proclamation detailing his service to the community and expressing our gratitude for what he did on behalf of our children. All are welcome to come and join in acknowledging a life served on our behalf.
Bill Finkeldey is moving on into retirement, and will be replaced by Jo Ann Reed. Jo Ann comes with years of experience and brings youthful energy, sensitivity and years of dedication to children. Working with the school, the police and the other Youth Advocate office staff, Jo Ann will have the opportunity to build on Bill's broad and deep foundation and adapt new programs to meet continually evolving needs.
We all know that the veneer of a small village can hide real needs and that our most vulnerable young can be at risk of slipping through the cracks. Hastings has worked for three decades to patch those cracks and catch those kids - and Jo Ann steps into that proud tradition, to continue to run a program envied by our neighbors and awarded citations by New York State. Thank you, Bill, for lives saved, helped or moved in the right direction. Welcome, Jo Ann to the continuation of that tradition.