NEWBURGH – The City of Newburgh has welcomed many new staff members in 2019. In February of this year, Todd Venning was appointed as Comptroller. In July, Alexandra Church was named permanent Director of Planning and Development after serving as interim director since October 2018. This fall, Stanley Merritt has been named as Human Resources Administrator after the City was able to create a fulltime position for the role.
Todd Venning was appointed in February as City of Newburgh Comptroller and Director of Finance. He is responsible for auditing the performance of department finances, making recommendations regarding contracts, and managing city debt.
Venning previously served as Senior Management Analyst for the Department of Watershed Management in the City of Atlanta where he conducted investigations, identified legal questions related to municipal water distribution policy and drafted appropriate policy changes and directives. Prior to his tenure with the City of Atlanta, Venning worked for the New York City Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where he conducted a wide range of analysis of tax policies, compliance issues, and regulatory finance laws. Prior to his tenure with OMB, he served as a Budget and Legal Analyst for the New York City Housing Authority where he ensured compliance of federally funded programs and other financial matters.
Venning is a licensed attorney who received his Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School and brings extensive expertise in organizational financial management operations within local government agencies. He also holds an MBA in Finance and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Rochester.
Alexandra Church was appointed as the City of Newburgh Director of Planning and Development, a role that was made permanent after her transition from the position of City Planner in July. Church’s duties include implementation and updates of the City’s Master Plan, oversight of land use processes, and spearheading economic development activities.
Before joining the City in 2015, Church was a planner at the firm Milone and MacBroom where she served real estate, land use, and municipal planning clients. Prior to her role with Milone and MacBroom, Church worked for the City of Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority where she was involved with vacant land policy, especially developing acquisition and disposition policies for the City that led directly to the formation of the City of Philadelphia’s Land Bank.
She is a member of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners, where she has advised her regional chapter. She regularly speaks on zoning, land use, redevelopment, and code enforcement issues throughout the region. Church is a graduate of Bard College and received a master’s degree in City Planning and a master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. Church serves on the board of the Newburgh Community Land Bank and teaches Geographic Information Systems at Ramapo College. Church is an active member of the Newburgh Heights Neighborhood Association, where she resides.
In September, the City welcomed Stan Merritt as Human Resources Administrator. Merritt will implement human resources operations, policies, and procedures including recruitment, maintaining compliance with employment legislation, making recommendations for appointments, directing professional development of staff, and participating in collective bargaining negotiations.
Merritt most recently worked for the Poughkeepsie School District and the City of Poughkeepsie. He brings over 20 years of human resource experience including work with labor relations and as a political action coordinator for CSEA. Merritt has a master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Human Resources from Marist College.