According to an obituary posted on Riley Mortuary’s website, First Ward Alderman Ed Russo passed away yesterday afternoon. Russo began serving on the Amsterdam Common Council in 2014 and was elected to a third two-year term on Tuesday.
His daughter Michele Russo said today that he had suffered from cancer and “fought hard until the end.”
Reached for comment today, Mayor Michael Villa said, “I’ve know Ed my whole adult life, I worked with him at the county. Our families know each other. It’s really sad.”
“One thing about Eddie, he had his own mind…he wasn’t a person that you could tell him what to do or anything. If he didn’t agree with something, he didn’t agree with it.”
“He was dedicated, he loved serving. That’s why he continued to want to run. That was his passion, serving the first ward,” said Villa. “He’ll definitely be missed.”
Second Ward Alderman Paul Ochal expressed his condolences to the family and added that Russo’s passing is a “loss to the city.”
“Ed worked very hard in the job as alderman and brought a lot of experience to what he did,” said Ochal.
Russo recently retired from his position as Deputy Commissioner of Building and Grounds at Montgomery County Public Works, where he has served for approximately 28 years. He has also served as president of the local Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) for 20 years, a position he stepped down from approximately 2 years ago.
Ochal said that Russo’s position at the county helped the city and county to coordinate services.
“Personally for me, he was a big help. Whenever I needed to find out something, on procedure, or where I could get information on something, he was a big help with that,” said Ochal. “I enjoyed spending time with him.”
Fifth Ward Alderman Jim Martuscello said, “I found Ed Russo to be a gentleman on the council. Whether we agreed or disagreed, Eddie was very fair-minded, always had his constituents in mind first and foremost.”
Martuscello credited Russo with helping him coordinate with the county department of public works to excavate and prepare the land for the East Main Street park.
“I’ll miss him, I liked Eddie,” he added.
Third Ward Alderman Chad Majewski wrote, “Words may not suffice to express the heartfelt sorrow that I feel for the passing of Alderman Russo. He leaves us with so many achievements from his lifelong work in public service, both on the county and city level. I extend my deepest sympathies to the family during this time of sorrow.”
Visitation hours are scheduled for Friday, November 10th, 2017, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at Riley Mortuary, 110 Division Street, Amsterdam, NY.