As he flipped through an album of Ellwood City photos from years gone by, Dom Viccari had a glow in his eyes. Viccari loves Ellwood City, but he said it’s time to step down as borough manager—a job he has proudly held since April of 2006. Viccari announced his retirement at Monday’s borough council meeting.
Viccari talked about the opening of the Emporium and many other celebrations over the years with a hint of nostalgia. His smile grew wide as he flipped the photo album’s pages and talked about the 90 feet of birthday cakes that was a highlight at one of the city’s celebrations.
Viccari’s love and loyalty to Ellwood City blossomed at a young age. He said he has been involved in the community one way or another for 40 years. In 1954 Viccari came out of the Army and that’s when his long-standing dedication to Ellwood City began. He said he started a baseball team and later a softball team during his time on the recreation board. Others may know Viccari from his 51-year career with the Ellwood City Ledger.
However one may know Viccari, he said it is the people of Ellwood City that he loves the most.
“The people,” he said. “I can’t say enough about all the people in Ellwood City. They are understanding. They are willing to help. They know each other.”
It is the people of Ellwood City that Dom Viccari will miss the most.
Things he won’t miss, though, are shutoffs for those residents who fail to pay their bills. They were Viccari’s nemeses during his time on the job.
“I slept with my cell phone at night,” he said.
According to Viccari, the best part of his job was working to help develop and revitalize the city and working with the community in the process.
His proudest moment as a community leader was the partnership with Appalachian Lighting. That partnership saved the borough money and helped a local business get on track to a successful future. He also mentioned the downtown revitalization as a highlight of his tenure.
“It is tearing down, and it is rebuilding,” he said regarding recent demolition of dilapidated downtown buildings that will make room for new development.
Viccari isn’t headed out the door yet. He will serve out the rest of his current contract which ends on March 31, but he has plenty of plans to keep busy in the future. He has plans for gardening and will remain engaged with the community through the community gardeners group.
For Viccari, once a community man … always a community man.
“The best is yet to come,” Viccari said. “My heart is here at home, and my door is always open.”