Flower Hill’s Shatzkamer to retire after 16 years as administator

Flower Hill’s Shatzkamer to retire after 16 years as administator
Flower Hill Village Administrator Ronnie Shatzkamer announced she will be retiring after working with the village for 16 years. (Photo courtesy of Ronnie Shatzkamer)

Village administrator Ronnie Shatzkamer is not just the welcoming face Flower Hill residents are greeted by when entering the village hall.

She’s also the manager of the village’s staff, the writer of local laws, the overseer of village proceedings, the liaison to civil services, the chief election official, the chief records manager and much more.

“I have a closet full of hats,” Shatzkamer said. “I have a million different jobs – which is why I love the job because every day is something new.”

Without Shatzkamer, the village’s operations would essentially cease.

But rounding out a 22-year-long career serving as the administrator for two villages, Shatzkamer will now be packing up the many hats she wears to pursue a new chapter of her life: retirement.

Shatzkamer, who started as Manorhaven’s clerk in 2002, has served as Flower Hill’s village administrator for more than 15 years. She is also the president of the Long Island Village Clerks and Treasurers Association.

Before stepping into administrative work, Shatzkamer was an attorney practicing personal injury law. However, upon finding the work to not be of her liking, Shatzkamer pivoted to being a stay-at-home mom before jumping into the multifaceted Flower Hill position.

For Shatzkamer, the utmost importance to her is ensuring the village reaches the highest level of functionality and compliance which is what motivates her work every day.

With a 16-year career as Flower Hill’s village administrator, working under five mayors, Shatzkamer could not highlight one shining moment but rather an abundance of notable achievements she was proud of.

The very first thing Shatzkamer said she did as the new administrator was apply for the village to get federal flood insurance – thankfully years before Superstorm Sandy hit the North Shore.

Other achievements include but aren’t limited to securing grants for GIS mapping and playgrounds, creating the village’s employee handbook and policies, establishing an emergency notification system and establishing a document retention system.

“And it goes on and on,” said Shatzkamer, who was unable to list all that she has done for the village.

Before retiring Shatzkame set a goal to completely digitize the village’s records and convert them to a paperless office, which has finally been put in place.

“I feel like now I can retire,” Shatzkamer said.

But with her long list of achievements, what has stuck out the most for Shatzkamer are the relationships she has fostered in the village.

At the top of the list are her experiences with the five mayors she worked with, each offering a distinct personality to the village and subsequently a unique relationship with Shatzkamer.

“Each such a different person, but I gained so much knowledge from each one in different areas,” Shatzkamer said.

Shatzkamer said upon reflecting on her time with the village, it is the people who end up standing out to her as the village often feels like a family.

This family dynamic comes into play with the residents of the village, whether it’s when they come into the village hall or when the village checks in on its senior residents living alone during storms or times of crisis.

“The tone I set for the office is that when somebody comes in you’re friendly, you greet them with a smile and you try to help,” Shatzkamer said. “It’s not like ‘take a number and I’ll get to you when I can,’ it’s ‘what can I do for you and how can I make it better.’”

When asked to describe her time with the village, Shatzkamer offered one word: joy.

“I think very few people can say they love their job,” Shatzkamer said. “But I truly do love the job because I love people, I love the interactions, I love the legal part where I’m writing laws and resolution and research…and I love my coworkers because we’re really a family.”

Although Shatzkamer said she could have retired years ago, she’s making the move now as her husband is already retired and they are looking to enjoy a new phase in their lives with their family and friends.

But retirement doesn’t mean Shatzkamer is plans to end her work life entirely, saying she plans to join her condominium board, find a part-time calling and explore her hobby of painting.

Shatzkamer has left some big shoes to fill for Flower Hill’s next village administrator, but she said they will learn the challenges of the job.

Her last day as Flower Hill’s village administrator is June 14.

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