Mayor Walsh Reappoints Nine Commissioners; Ruthnie Angrand joins the new administration as Director of Communications and Marketing


Walsh also recruits recreation professional to be Deputy Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs

Names two communications staffers, Ruthnie Angrand joins the new administration as Director of Communications and Marketing

SYRACUSE, NY (Jan. 1, 2018) – Mayor Walsh announced yesterday that he has reappointed nine commissioners, and appointed a deputy commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs. He also named two communications professionals who will manage communications, marketing and public engagement for the City of Syracuse.

Janet Burke has served as the Director of the Research Bureau since 2010. The Bureau of Research serves as a policy planning, research/information resource, inter-governmental aid, and special projects unit for all City departments. Burke has been with the department since 2003, serving previously as Management Analyst and Grants Procurement Specialist. Prior to working for the Research Bureau, Burke worked in the Parking Violations Bureau in the Finance Department.

City Hall, Syracuse NY

David Clifford has served as the Commissioner of Assessment since 2011. The Department of Assessment annually compiles the City assessment roll, consisting of an assessed value for each of the City’s 41,902 properties. Clifford is a 32-year veteran of the department, also having worked as First Deputy Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Senior Real Property Appraiser, and Property Appraiser.

David DelVecchio has been renamed the Commissioner of Finance. The Department of Finance is divided into three bureaus: The Bureau of Treasury, The Bureau of Accounts, and the Parking Violations Bureau. DelVecchio has worked for the City of Syracuse since 1983, with roles in the City Auditor’s Office, Public Works, and the Department of Community Development.

Adria Finch began as the City’s Director of Innovation in 2015. She will continue to serve as the Director of Innovation, which develops solutions to challenges facing the City of Syracuse, such as infrastructure and economic opportunity. Finch previously worked as an Economic Development Specialist for the Downtown Committee of Syracuse.

Mary Robison has been reappointed to City Engineer. She has lead the Department of Engineering, which includes the Design and Construction Division, the Building Division, and the Mapping and Surveying Division, since 2003. Robison has more than 30 years of professional engineering experience.

Lazarus Sims has been reappointed to Commissioner of Parks, Recreation, and Youth Programs. The Parks Department coordinates, administers, and staffs the city’s recreational, support, and special events programs. Sims started at the City in 2015 and is a graduate of Syracuse University, where he worked early in his career as an assistant coach focused on player development and strengthening for the basketball team.

Robert Stamey will continue in his role as the Director of Personnel, a position he has held since 2014. The Department of Personnel and Labor Relations provides leadership, guidance, and efficient services to promote positive labor relations, diversity, and a safe work environment. Stamey previously served in the City Corporation Counsel office. He graduated with his Juris Doctorate degree from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1987.

Ken Towsley has also been reappointed as the Director of Code Enforcement. Towsley has been director since 2013 and has been with the department for more than 10 years. The Division of Code Enforcement is responsible for planning, reviewing, and inspecting building construction within the city. Towsley started his career as a member of the United States Army.

Mary Vossler will continue to serve as the Director of Management and Budget, a position she has held since 2011. The Department of Budget prepares and administers the annual budget, and develops the City’s energy, telecommunications, and technology policies. Prior to this position, Vossler spent a year in the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development as Chief Financial Officer.

LaFave brings 15 years of recreation experience to Deputy Commissioner role in Parks

Julie LaFave Deputy Commissioner of Parks Recreation and Youth Programs, Ruthnie Angrand Director of Communications and Marketing, and Tory Russo Public Information Officer

The Mayor appointed Julie LaFave to become the next Deputy Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs, a key role in managing and administrating City parks operations and programs. LaFave brings 15 years of experience in municipal recreation, including planning, organizing special events, team leadership, and sponsorship through fundraising. She is currently director of Parks and Recreation in the Town of Sullivan. LaFave earned her Bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and has a Master’s degree in Recreation Administration from Frostburg State University. She will report to Commissioner Lazarus Sims. LaFave lives in Syracuse.

In the office of the Mayor, Ruthnie Angrand joins the new administration as the Director of Communications and Marketing. She previously managed communications and marketing for Hueber-Breuer Construction Company and worked as an editorial assistant at Syracuse University Press. Angrand studied magazine, newspaper, and online journalism from Syracuse University after earning an undergraduate degree in mass communications from Brenau University.

Walsh also named Tory Russo as Public Information Officer. Russo spent several months on Walsh’s campaign and transition team as a communications specialist and previously worked for PEACE, Inc. as a content coordinator. She graduated from Syracuse University in 2016 with undergraduate degrees in magazine journalism and international relations.