Town chief stepping down

BOLTON LANDING - The Town of Bolton's chief executive, Kathleen Simmes, said this week she is not seeking reelection this November so she can spend more time with her family. But she added that her decision to step down from politics may only be temporary.

Simmes cited her primary reason for leaving her post as Town Supervisor was primarily so she could spend more time with her daughter Lori, who is continuing her treatments for brain cancer.

"Lori is doing very well at the moment, but I don't know what the next year is going to bring," she said. "I can't appropriately devote time to our family business, plus this job as Town Supervisor, as well as spending time with Lori - so I decided to make the change."

Her decision to step aside for this upcoming two-year term, however, does not mean she'll be staying out of politics in the long run.

"I'm not ruling out a future run for the supervisor post," she said.

Simmes operates Pooch Palace, a dog-boarding enterprise with her husband Harry.

Elected Bolton Town Supervisor in 2007, she served one term in the post, but her civic resume extends further back in time.

She served as Town Clerk from Aug. 1979 through 2007, and beforehand was Deputy Town Clerk for about a year.

Simmes said Monday she had enjoyed the job as Supervisor, participating in the decision-making process to keep the town moving forward.

"I've enjoyed every minute of it, and I'm sorry I can't put in another two years," she said. "We have a lot of projects started that I hope we finish before I leave office."

Such projects include the construction of the town pier, the revitalization of Rogers Memorial Park, enhancements to the downtown streetscape, the redevelopment of the Norowal Marina, the rehabilitation of Bolton Conservation Park, upgrades to the town sewer plant, rehabilitation of the town hall, and the reconstruction of Rte. 9N.

She said she was pleased with the progress on these projects during her tenure as supervisor.

Simmes' exit from the elections this fall leaves former Supervisor Alexander "Zandy" Gabriels and Ronald Conover, a retired city planner, as declared candidates for the post.

Conover ran for the Supervisor post in 2007, but lost to Simmes by a margin of about 10 percent of the vote.

Gabriels was elected Supervisor three times during his tenure, from 2002 through 2007.

Both Gabriels and Conover are registered Republicans.

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