DOWNTOWN PEOPLE: New Legal Eagle at City Hall

Our small city has been blessed with a long line of remarkable City Clerks, and Carolyn D’Andrea, who assumed the position October 13, is no exception. She may, however, at age 30, be Rye’s youngest City Clerk.

Published January 21, 2016 9:40 PM
3 min read

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Downtown-thOur small city has been blessed with a long line of remarkable City Clerks, and Carolyn D’Andrea, who assumed the position October 13, is no exception. She may, however, at age 30, be Rye’s youngest City Clerk.

By Robin Jovanovich

DowntownpeepsOur small city has been blessed with a long line of remarkable City Clerks, and Carolyn D’Andrea, who assumed the position October 13, is no exception. She may, however, at age 30, be Rye’s youngest City Clerk.

While in college, where she majored in Political Science and minored in Italian Studies, D’Andrea did research for New York State’s 40th Senate District over the summer. “From the start I was fascinated by the process of how government works,” she said in an interview this week in the Clerk’s Office, in between helping merchants renew parking permits and fielding questions from residents.

In three short months, D’Andrea said she’s learned “how wonderful it is to work in a strong community, getting to know residents and business owners alike.” She praised the City Council for their candor at meetings and the manner in which they welcome residents at the dais.

D’Andrea came to Rye from Scarsdale, where she was Deputy Village Attorney. “I was close to the Village Clerk in Scarsdale and I was ready to learn a different skillset.” She added, “I put my legal background to work every day here; I run the FOIL program for one.”

One of her favorite parts of the job is issuing marriage licenses. “You spend close to 45 minutes with every couple and hear some wonderful stories.”

She and longtime Deputy City Clerk Diane Moore make a great team, which is fortunate as they are the only two full-time employees in the Clerk’s Office. “We started keeping a sign-in sheet at the front desk to document the kinds of requests we get,” said D’Andrea. “One day we had 43 people at the counter!”  

Over the phone, the pair field questions on everything from “When’s the next train to the city?” to “How do I get a license for my dog?” D’Andrea said she is happy to take residents through the City website and direct them to Metro-North (mta.info).

She made it through her first election. “I got to City Hall at 5:30 in the morning. This year I plan to arrive at 5! It’s a long day, but the poll workers do a great job.”

So far, D’Andrea said there haven’t been any bad days on the job. “I came on board after the rock chipping discussion,” she added. “A common thread in my community conversations is the shortage of parking in downtown. It’s a conversation going on in many other communities, especially those, which like Rye, have opened up their downtowns to more mixed-use development.”

Her commute home to Yorktown Heights is shorter than it was from Scarsdale, which gives her more time with her husband Rich, whom she met at age 9 and married two years ago, and a little more time to dedicate to photography, her favorite pastime. “My dad gave me a camera when I was 16. I rented darkroom space so I could develop my own black-and-white portraits. I’m slowly embracing digital photography.”

Any portrait of Carolyn D’Andrea would show a young exuberant professional who is ready to tackle any challenge with charm and warmth.

 

 

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