By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO As expected, John Barbarite resigned Sunday as Monticello’s village manager.
Barbarite, 66, had told the board weeks ago he was planning to retire, once he confirmed it with the state retirement system.
He got that confirmation on Thursday and submitted his resignation letter on Friday, effective July 31.
“I was ready,” Barbarite admitted yesterday, though he declined to go into details.
On the local government scene since serving as the Town of Thompson’s supervisor in the early ’90s, he’s been a polarizing figure in village politics, known for his no-nonsense style.
After being fired from both the deputy manager and manager positions, his second appointment to the village manager position in 2010 was the subject of a split vote, and various lawsuits were mounted against him and the village for what several landlords deemed unfair treatment.
When asked if he had any “proudest moments” in his latest tenure as manager, he didn’t recall specific incidents but did say he avoided violating his ethics.
“I think, if anything, I was able to be true to myself,” Barbarite explained.
He plans to remain living in the village and possibly involving himself in zoning or planning issues but that’s it.
“I’m going to stay retired,” he vowed.
Mayor Gordon Jenkins wished him well.
“I think John did a good job in the village,” Jenkins remarked. “His agenda was the same as mine: we want a good, clean village. ... We’re trying to bring this village back.”
With Barbarite’s resignation, Jenkins automatically became the acting manager. He expects Deputy Village Manager John LiGreci will handle the day-to-day issues.
“The mayor assumes the duty as manager,” Jenkins explained. “John [LiGreci] is going to be doing the duties of the manager, though.”
But whether LiGreci becomes Barbarite’s official successor remains uncertain.
“I’m not going to make any decisions yet,” said Jenkins, intending to talk to the entire village board about it, likely starting at tonight’s board meeting.
LiGreci, however, anticipates he will be named manager tonight.
“I believe there’s a very good chance it will happen tomorrow,” he confirmed yesterday.
The 60-year-old said he’s spent nearly two decades in government roles, including a dozen years as Lumberland’s supervisor.
“If I can’t do the job now,” he remarked, “I shouldn’t be doing it at all.”