Sea Cliff’s Village government will continue to include two familiar faces among its employees but the two women will be working in new places. Sarah Beaudin and Judy Phelps have taken over the positions of village clerk and treasurer, respectively, replacing Marianne Lennon, the previous clerk-treasurer who had worked for the village for the last two decades. She officially retired on Jan. 21.
The roles of clerk and treasurer had for years been one position, but as the population of the village and the complexity of its issues increased, more and more responsibilities had been foisted on Lennon. When she told the village board last year that she planned on retiring at the beginning of 2023, Sea Cliff Mayor Elena Villafane and the others determined that it made more sense to split the role going forward.
“The board has noticed that over the passage of time, that the clerk-treasurer position was really getting to be more than a one person job,” Villafane said. “So we were really looking at it and as we reassessed the position itself, we determined that it would be more appropriate to split the job into two discrete functions.”
The roles of clerk and treasurer are two of the most vital positions in local government, essential to ensuring the business of the village runs smoothly. Since the trustees of the board are only part-time, it will be up to Beaudin and Phelps to take care of most of the day-to-day operations in Sea Cliff.
The village clerk’s job covers a wide range of duties, including functioning as the village’s human resources department and the liaison to the board for the government. The clerk also attends all village meetings, recording the minutes.
Beaudin, who had previously worked for the village as its building department coordinator and is a life-long Sea Cliff resident, said she has spent the past few months working closely with Lennon to prepare for her new role.
“I’m very excited. It’s such a great new opportunity to work with the residents in a different capacity,” Beaudin said. “I have a lot of knowledge of all the different departments here since the building department plays a pretty big role in Sea Cliff.”
The role of village treasurer is equally important to keeping Sea Cliff running smoothly. As treasurer, Phelps will be responsible for managing the village’s payroll, accounts payable, and receiving residents’ taxes.
Phelps has worked for Sea Cliff as the deputy treasurer and deputy court clerk for the last four years already. Although a resident of Massapequa, she said part of the reason she enjoys the job is the amazing qualities of the people and beauty of the village, in addition to the friendliness of those who work in village government.
“All of the people here are very nice, and the people I work with are fantastic,” Phelps said. “We work as a team, we help each other out when we’re short-staffed, which is rarely, and we basically just enjoy each other and have a good time here.”
Both Beaudin and Phelps applied to the respective jobs following Lennon’s retirement announcement, and received word that they had landed the roles in late October of 2022. Dina Epstein, Sea Cliff’s deputy mayor, explained that although the village had several applications from outside its government for the roles, the board believed that Phelps and Beaudin were the most qualified applicants due to their previous experience in the government.
“They both have the skills that we were looking for in their respective positions, and they have the experience of dealing with residents in Village Hall,” Epstein said. “They’re familiar with the way things work, the accounting systems, the computer systems. They’re just familiar with the operations.”