Wilmington board appoints new member

WILMINGTON Despite the protests of some constituents, the Wilmington board has added a new member.

At its regular board meeting June 13, the town board appointed Alicia Armstrong to fill a vacant seat. She replaces Wes Gonyea, who stepped down earlier this year.

Several residents were upset by the move, pointing out that the issue of filling the seat had been considered before, and decided. Resident Darin Forbes said the board had originally not planned to fill the seat.

The town board did not want to have to appoint someone to the board. Unfortunately, in order to have a bond passed, we need a two-thirds majority, said Supervisor Jeanne Ashworth.

Councilman Russ Mulvey cannot vote on a planned water expansion project to bring town water to Whiteface Mountain, due to a conflict of interest. Without a full board, the needed bond will automatically fail, she said.

The town board has the power to fill vacant seats through appointment, or by holding a special election, Ashworth said.

Resident Joe Holzer said that there had been no advertising for the position, and asked why a potential candidate for the board wasnt asked.

Ashworth said Randy Preston was offered the position, but turned it down. Preston is expected to run for Wilmington supervisor this fall.

Councilman Stephen Corvelli said it would be unfair to select a potential candidate, since several people are expected to run for board seats in November. He added that the cost of holding a special election, along with the time factor, made appointing a candidate the way to go.

I recommended (Alicia Armstrong). She has no ax to grind, no plans to run for the position, said Corvelli.

Armstrong has resided in Wilmington for a year and a half, and is co-owner of the Mountain Brook Lodge. She said she hadnt made up her mind about the water district expansion, and would review plans before making a decision. She stated she had no plans to run for the board.

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