Retired Niles mayor: 'I knew it was time'
Thomas Scarnecchia, who suddenly retired Monday 30 months into his four-year term as Niles mayor, said a recent hospital stay was the catalyst for his decision to leave office.
“I was in the hospital for a week and when I got home, I knew it was time,” said Scarnecchia in an exclusive interview Wednesday with The Vindicator. “You know I’ve had health issues.”
Scarnecchia, 76, declined to describe or disclose the nature of his medical problems, but believes “the stress of the job” may have aggravated them.
“It seemed like every day the hammer fell and there was always something new to deal with,” he said. “I saw that from my first day in office.”
When Scarnecchia took office in 2016, Niles had already been in state-declared fiscal emergency since late 2014. Its recovery plan was not getting results according to the fiscal commission required to oversee city spending. During his tenure, the plan has been modified several times and the former mayor is happy with what he feels he has achieved.
“I think Niles is in the best shape it’s been in years,” he said. “When you think about what we had to face when I got here, I feel good about how far we’ve come.”
Read MORE in Thursday's VINDICATOR.