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Dr. Susan Aloi concludes service as City Recorder

Dr. Susan Aloi, outgoing City Recorder, and Mayor David McCauley at the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Dr. Aloi is the Director of the School of Business at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

May 15, 2018

As Dr. Susan Aloi concludes her nearly 20 months of service as our City Recorder this Friday afternoon when we’ll swear in Colin Reger as our new City Recorder, I’d like to reflect a bit about her & her service to our City.  In September of 2016, I sought Susan out to serve as our Recorder.  She was already a very busy person, but we all know that old saying about if you want a job done well, seek out an already busy person to do it.  I may’ve fibbed a bit to her about the quantity of work required.  It’s easy to deduce that there are but six meetings a month to worry about at City Hall, i.e., two Council meetings & the four Utility Boards that meet but monthly.  Soon after starting, she came to learn about the Planning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Stockert Youth & Community Center Board, the Police Civil Service Commission, the Fire Service Commission, the Housing Enforcement Board, the Historic Landmarks Commission, and then there are the “special” meetings of Council & the various Utility Boards, & the many committee meetings including the Assessment Committee & the Sustainability Committee, both of which she chaired.

I suppose the first question that might be posed was “Why seek out Susan Aloi for the job?”  In September of 2016, I was going on 34 years with our City, only four months then as mayor, but more than 32 years as City Attorney.  I knew very well how important the position was.  I had served with Binky Poundstone, Nancy Shobe, & Rich Clemens for decades, all excellent folks who served as our City Recorder collectively for half a century.  We needed a person whose ethical perspective was beyond reproach, whose work ethic was excellent, whose time management skills were off the charts fantastic, whose honesty & integrity was impeccable, who was a skilled writer & a nifty public speaker, who was well organized, & a natural leader.  This person pursuant to our municipal charter would be a heartbeat away from serving as mayor.  The City Recorder had in fact been called upon to act as Buckhannon’s mayor on two occasions during the previous 16 years alone.

I’ve known Susan Aloi for nearly 38 years.  Her husband, Mike, & I started law school together way back in August of 1980.  Susan & Mike went to Wesleyan together where they met way back in 1976, & then headed north together to Morgantown after graduating here.  When she & Mike & their four kids, Joey, Alexander, Hannah, & Iris moved back to Buckhannon in 1998, we became colleagues at the College.  What a terrific matriarch she has been for her family.  Going back to that checklist above, all of the items were quickly checked after my lightbulb came on to consider her appointment as City Recorder.  Simply stated- Susan is the constant voice of reason.  She always takes the ethical & moral high ground.  She’s inclusive, transparent, & demands that organizations she associates herself with behave competently, but- are able to prove their competence through being properly & fully evaluated & assessed.  She’s highly analytical, but also very highly compassionate, always looking out for the little guy… or gal, & in fact- she is consistently persistent about inclusivity- making sure that women, minorities, those who’ve historically been marginalized & often excluded from having a voice, a place at the table- are adequately represented when it comes to making any decision.  She’s kind to animals.  She already was a great ambassador for our community.  Asking Susan Aloi to serve as our City Recorder was a total no-brainer.

Her efficiency in taking our minutes is unparalleled in our City’s history.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left a meeting, walk the five minutes home, only to find in my e-mail inbox the draft minutes from that meeting that had just concluded.  It was always a great moment for me when I could point out the smallest error in her minutes- an experience which only rarely occurred.  She always kept me on our agenda, sometimes by reaching over & pointing out where I had slipped up, or also sometimes with a bit of that left elbow which can be painfully sharp!  Our ole place, this organization “our City of Buckhannon” is better for her having been a part of it.  Dr. Susan Aloi is responsible for this place, our City- being better, kinder, more competent, inclusive, transparent, & efficient.  Susan- we owe you a debt of gratitude.  Thank you for being here- you will be missed!

-Mayor David McCauley