Lion of the Bronx budget process plans retirement

Robert Nolan (above) who has served three different Borough Presidents in the past 30 years has announced his retirement. - Photo by Patrick Rocchio

A man who has dedicated 30 years of service to three different borough presidents and was a driving force in creating the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation is retiring at the end of this month.

Robert Nolan, director the Budget for Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr., announced his retirement last month from the office of the borough president. He also worked under borough presidents Stanley Simon and Fernando Ferrer.

Nolan, who has held the title of Budget Director since 1998 began his career in Mayor Koch’s office, before walking into the former Borough President Simon’s office on January 29, 1979, and becoming a point man on local economic development.

“I went to local commercial strips and told them about the city, state and federal programs that can provide assistance,” Nolan said. “Eventually, I moved into administration, and worked on the Board of Estimate.”

While Nolan’s role in the administration changed after the demise of the Board of Estimate, his versatility and ability with numbers served him well.

Nolan, who is a lifelong resident of the Bronx, currently lives in Morris Park with his wife Susan. He attended

Our Lady of Solace School and Fordham University, and became active in the east Bronx as a community and political activist in 1973.

Besides his duties as the numbers man for the office of the borough president, Nolan has served as unofficial liaison to community boards 10 and 11 for years, providing guidance and support to both district managers and board members.

“I love being the liaison to the community boards,” Nolan stated. “I love going to the monthly meetings. I also maintain communication with all of the different homeowners and tenants associations [in the northeast Bronx].”

In addition to being the borough president’s point man on CB 10 and CB 11, Nolan also served as unofficial liaison to Bronx little leagues, and has helped numerous baseball and soccer leagues navigate through issues with the Department of Parks and Recreation and other agencies.

“I can’t tell you how many times, on a weekend, I have gone out to a little league field to take a look at something,” Nolan said. “I have maintained a very close relationship with the coaches at 20 different little leagues throughout the borough.”

Nolan’s retirement will become official just two days prior to his 60th birthday, and he is already fielding job offers in governmental consulting and other ventures, but has not yet decided on any fixed course.

“I know I am going to remain very active when I leave this office,” Nolan said. “Thirty years in the borough president’s office has been a great experience. I have been able to coach my son for two years and my daughter for four years in the Van Nest Little League. If I had worked in Manhattan, I would never have been able to get home in time to do that.”

Family and friends of Robert Nolan are throwing a retirement party in his honor on Wednesday, December 10 at Maestro’s Catering Hall at 1703 Bronxdale Avenue between 6 and 10 p.m.


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