In Paterson, Long Takes the Place of Vaughn McKoy

Vaughn L. McKoy, who led the Paterson Mayor’s Transition Team and then served as Business Administrator since July 1, 2018, will leave his post after almost 20 months. His last day will be February 14, 2020.

During his tenure, McKoy worked to streamline and improve the processes and functioning of city government. He focused on systems change and spearheaded three important initiatives: successfully shepherding the city’s transition from costly self-insurance to the State Health Benefit Plan (saving taxpayers close to $20 million annually in health care cost projections), restructuring the rates and methods for billing sewer usage (closing a $5 million annual operating gap that existed for decades), and managing the collective bargaining agreement negotiations with the City’s 19 unions.  He also actively facilitated the projects that will lead to the restoration and renovation of Hinchliffe Stadium and Bauerle Fieldhouse.

“It is rare to have someone of Vaughn’s caliber (JD and MBA) leave the private sector to serve as a Chief Operating Officer in municipal government,” said Mayor Andre Sayegh. “Vaughn brought his leadership, experience and strategic thinking to his position as Business Administrator from day one. His business acumen, calm and unique style, and solid roots in the Paterson community helped to establish a firm foundation for my Administration from which we will build. His deep personal integrity enabled him to develop trust with various constituencies, from employees, unions, and the Paterson community. Vaughn was fearless and unafraid to tackle the longstanding issues that have lingered for too long, and I am grateful for his leadership on my team.”

“This is a very emotional moment for me,” noted McKoy “Paterson is special and is the foundation for everything that I am and will become.  It has given more to me than I could ever repay, so serving as the Business Administrator during a pivotal time was the least I could do for the people that taught me perseverance, grit and determination.  I want to thank the Mayor Andre Sayegh for entrusting me with this enormous responsibility upon assuming office. I also want to express my gratitude to the Municipal Council, the Mayor’s Cabinet, my team and colleagues, and the residents of Paterson for their support.”

McKoy will be replaced by Chief of Staff Kathleen M. Long, a longtime Paterson resident and leader in the nonprofit sector, who has worked very closely with McKoy since joining the Sayegh Administration in July 2018.

“Kathleen has re-defined the role as Chief of Staff in my Administration, bringing to bear her long track record of delivering results for the people she serves to city government,” said Sayegh. “Her work ethic is second to none, which she demonstrated in serving as the conduit between my leadership team and the various departments, as well as managing many of my strategic projects, from securing funding for and overseeing our Innovation Team, leading our grant efforts, working on shared services with Passaic County government, and spearheading the ongoing park planning and improvement projects. Kathleen and Vaughn have worked together in managing and improving our relationship with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, meeting with our monitors weekly for the past 19 months. I have every confidence the appointment of Kathleen will ensure a smooth transition from the great work of Vaughn.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the residents of Paterson as Business Administrator with the same passion I brought to my role as Chief of Staff,” said Long, a homeowner and resident of the 2nd Ward for 12 years. “I am committed to the Mayor’s vision of building a sustainable and innovative city government, and look forward to working with the Mayor, Municipal Council, and the community to continue the efforts started by Vaughn McKoy.”

Born in Paterson’s Barnert Hospital, Long spent her childhood and teen years in the 3rd Ward, where her parents still reside. Long now lives in the Hillcrest Neighborhood with her husband and two young children.  Before joining city government, Long served for 10 years as a leader in the New Jersey nonprofit sector, including 5 years as the Chief Development and Marketing Officer at OASIS – A Haven for Women and Children in Paterson. Prior to returning to Paterson, Long developed an extensive background in international trade, intellectual property, and international education as she lived and worked in Washington, D.C. for the powerhouse law firm Steptoe and Johnson, LLP and the US-Ireland Alliance. She also served as an elementary school teacher on the west side of Chicago through an AmeriCorps Program.

Long holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Government from Georgetown University, where she was in the honors program and graduated cum laude. She earned her Master of Science degree in Government from the National University of Ireland in Cork through the prestigious George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program. She received her teaching certification at Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy in Evanston, Il.

Long also participated as a senior leader alongside McKoy in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative from 2018-2019, where Mayors and senior administration officials from across the country participated in year-long live and virtual training and study sessions with faculty from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Long will be replaced by Della McCall Fischer, 4th ward resident and respected political consultant and strategist.

“Building a strong and well-balanced team to serve the residents of Paterson is one of my most important responsibilities as Mayor,” said Mayor Andre Sayegh. “I am elated to welcome Della McCall Fischer to this leadership team as my Chief of Staff. Well-respected throughout Paterson and New Jersey, she is a bridge-builder who brings government experience and a strategic perspective to the many challenges in our city. I am particularly impressed with Della’s passion for constituent and community relations, as well as her strong network of state, county, and local relationships, which will serve the residents of our city well.”

“I am very excited about serving the people of Paterson in Mayor Sayegh’s Administration,” said McCall Fischer.  “This is a unique opportunity to elevate a city that is already on the rise. I am looking forward to working with constituents from every walk of life.”

McCall Fischer joins City government from New Jersey Transit, where she served as a Customer Service Specialist since March 2019, acting as a liaison between transit customers and bus, rail, and light-rail supervisory personnel. Prior to NJ Transit, McCall Fischer served as Deputy Director of Constituent Relations for Governor Phil Murphy, trouble-shooting concerns of constituents throughout the state and working with various state departments to solve their problems.  McCall Fischer also founded a political consulting firm, Fischer and Associates, serving multiple campaigns and transition teams state-wide.

McCall Fischer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Education from Lighthouse Christian College. In Paterson, she has deep roots as an entrepreneur, founding and running multiple small businesses with her family. McCall Fischer is the mother of Dashawn (wife Azure) and Charity, and grandmother to four.

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