By Connor Beach
The Northport Village board appointed last month a new trustee to fill a seat left vacant by Damon McMullen, who was elected mayor in March.
Northport resident Mercy Smith was appointed to the trustee seat by McMullen. She’ll serve until next March, when a special election will be held for the remaining two years of the seat’s term.
Smith, 44, originally of Connecticut, moved to Northport, her husband’s hometown, in 2000.
Smith earned her associates in legal administration, a bachelor’s in business administration and a master’s in education, all from Sacred Heart University, before continuing on to a career in higher education.
Smith said she administered an annual budget of close to $990 million as the director of financial aid at Columbia University. She also worked in marketing and “creating new brands” at the education based companies Blackboard and Sallie Mae.
“All of those experiences can help the village,” Smith said.
In her brief time in office, Smith has taken over as commissioner of parks and technology, co-chair of the sexual harassment committee and chair of the village’s 125th anniversary celebrations, which will begin at the beginning of next year.
“I’m truly enjoying my role,” Smith said. “I get to use the skills I already culminated over the years, but I also get to learn a whole bunch of new things.”
The newest trustee is jumping right into the action at village hall; Smith said her goals for the near future include making improvements at Scudder Park, making improvements to technology at village hall, improving cybersecurity, creating a more user-friendly website and recruiting community members to help plan the 125th anniversary events.
“I’m pulling together village residents to help prioritize goals… I feel like I have a fiduciary responsibility to use their tax dollars as they see fit,” Smith said.
Smith said that she was one of several candidates who were interviewed for the trustee position, and that she decided to accept the appointment because she wanted to give back to the Northport community.
“I feel like all that the village has to offer has really given so much to my family,” she said. “It just feels natural to want to give back.”