An­so­nia’s long­time as­sis­tant comptroller to re­tire

Connecticut Post - - OBITUARIES/NEWS - By Jean Falbo-Sos­novich

“His ser­vice and ded­i­ca­tion are un­sur­passed, and the city is bet­ter be­cause of him. Words will not do him jus­tice.” An­so­nia Mayor David Cas­setti

AN­SO­NIA — For nearly three decades, Rich Bshara has been a fa­mil­iar fix­ture at City Hall.

First work­ing as the city’s sewer ad­min­is­tra­tor/ data pro­cess­ing man­ager in 1990 and later serv­ing as the city’s as­sis­tant comptroller since 1998, Bshara has de­cided the time is right to re­tire.

Bshara, 65, in­formed the Board of Al­der­men this week that he’s ready to put away those spread­sheets, cal­cu­la­tors and au­dit­ing books, and be­gin the next chap­ter of his life. He said he’s been talking about re­tire­ment for more than a year now, and said it’s “time to pull the trig­ger and do it.”

“I want to thank the (Cas­setti) ad­min­is­tra­tion and all the prior ad­min­is­tra­tions, elected of­fi­cials and co-workers for their sup­port and guid­ance over the last 28 years,” Bshara said. “I have truly en­joyed work­ing for the tax­pay­ers of the City of An­so­nia. I look for­ward to turn­ing a page and start­ing a new chap­ter in my life. “

Bshara said he plans to step down on or be­fore Dec. 31, and of­fered his ex­per­tise in help­ing the city tran­si­tion with his suc­ces­sor.

As as­sis­tant comptroller, Bshara was pri­mar­ily re­spon­si­ble for bud­gets, con­tracts, tax col­lec­tion, cash con­trols and au­dits, among other things.

But it’s the “in­ter­ac­tion be­tween city em­ploy­ees and var­i­ous mem­bers of the pub­lic on boards and com­mis­sions” that Bshara will miss most when he leaves.

Mar­ried to his wife, Jan­ice, for 45 years, and father of sons Gre­gory, Jor­dan and Ti­mothy, Bshara said he hopes to find part-time em­ploy­ment af­ter re­tire­ment, as well as spend more time with his fam­ily.

Mayor David Cas­setti said Bshara has been a loyal and ded­i­cated em­ployee who will be sorely missed.

“I can­not thank Rich enough for all he has done for the city,” said Cas­setti. “His ser­vice and ded­i­ca­tion are un­sur­passed, and the city is bet­ter be­cause of him. Words will not do him jus­tice.”

Bshara re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion and up­roar­i­ous ap­plause from the alder- men and the au­di­ence in at­ten­dance at Tues­day’s al­der­manic meeting.

Al­der­man Joe Cas­setti, when it came time for the al­der­men to ac­cept Bshara’s let­ter of in­tent to re­tire, quipped that he sim­ply didn’t want to do it, as he said los­ing an em­ployee of Bshara’s cal­iber and ex­pe­ri­ence is tough.

The al­der­men will form an ad-hoc com­mit­tee to find a new comptroller, full- or part-time, with a an­nual salary be­tween $75,000-$115,000. They asked Bshara to be part of that com­mit­tee to as­sist in find­ing a qual­i­fied suc­ces­sor.

“Rich has done a tremen­dous job for us, and we could only be so lucky to find some­one to take his place,” said Cas­setti.

Peter Hviz­dak / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Rich Bshara, as­sis­tant comptroller for the City of An­so­nia, at City Hall.

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