SOMERS, N.Y. - For countless residents needing a license, providing or accessing data or simply asking a question about their community, the town clerk is the face of official Somers.
This week, for the first time in 13 years, there is a new face.
By taking her oath of office before the Christmas break, Patricia Kalba was ready to succeed Kathleen R. Pacella as clerk as soon as the clock completed its inexorable countdown last week to a new year.
Pacella has served as Somers’ clerk for the past 13 years, capping three decades of town service.
Patty Kalba, Pacella’s deputy town clerk, was chosen by voters in November to succeed the woman who has been her boss for those same 13 years. On Dec. 20, Kalba stood in the Town Hall meeting room surrounded by family, friends and virtually all of official Somers, as she solemnly swore to faithfully perform the town clerk’s duties.
“This is a special, special, special thing for me to do because Patty is taking over the reins now,” Pacella said at the swearing-in ceremony as she was given the opportunity to preside over the oath of office for her successor. “She is going to be a fabulous town clerk.”
Born and raised in Somers, Kalba is a graduate of Somers High School who went on to earn her associate’s degree from Mercy College. In addition to her years in the town clerk’s office, Kalba has held a number of private-sector jobs and expects to draw on that experience in her new role.
As the clerk, Kalba will manage all official town records and issue licenses as well as serving as the town’s registrar, its liaison to the Board of Elections and Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) officer.
“It is an honor to hold this position and follow in the footsteps of Kathie, who was not only my boss for the last 13 years, but also became a part of my family,” Kalba said.
Her time in the clerk’s office coincides with Pacella’s 13-year tenure as town clerk.
“I will miss working with her on a day-to-day basis,” Kalba said, “but look forward to continuing our friendship for many years to come. I am excited to continue my service to the Town of Somers as town clerk.”
For her part, Pacella said she will also miss the people she’s worked with and the work itself. But, as the clerk told attendees at a Town Board meeting last month, she decidedly will not miss getting up in the morning, something she’s done in service of Somers for more than 30 years.
A town resident since 1978, Pacella went to work for the town in 1984 as secretary to the building inspector and fire-prevention bureau. Then, after being elected in 2002 to fill a year’s vacancy in the town clerk’s position, she went on to win a full, four-year term, running unopposed on the Republican line. Since then, Pacella has been endorsed by the major parties in each of her re-election bids.
She and her husband, Michael, a retired New York City and Somers police officer, plan to remain town residents, presumably pursuing interests that do not involve an early alarm clock.