Mayor will appoint replacement
By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong
Nelsonville Mayor Bill O’Neill on Monday (June 18) announced plans to soon appoint a replacement for Trustee Thomas Robertson, who advocated a five-member board but whose June 5 resignation leaves it one trustee short, only two months into its tenure.
Robertson “feels he can’t bring the energy he once had to the job and felt, to his credit, that if he can’t bring the energy — he didn’t think he should have the job,” O’Neill said. Robertson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Elected to a two-year term in 2016, Robertson, 81, won re-election to a one-year term earlier this year. Voters in 2017 approved the expansion of the board from three to five members, who include the mayor. Robertson had championed the change, which returned the board to its original, mid-19th century size.
The mayor said that before picking a new trustee, who will complete the remainder of Robertson’s term, which ends in April, he wanted to consult with Trustees Alan Potts, Mike Bowman and Dave Moroney.
The mayor described Robertson’s resignation as a chance to bring a new perspective to the board. “My objective is to add some balance, though that’s not my sole criterion,” he said. He explained that he wants “diversity, not in the usual sense of race or whatever, but in age, point of view, a different take on things. I’d like to get somebody that challenges us, frankly.”
He said he expects to select someone before the board’s next meeting, scheduled for July 16. With unanimous support from the trustees, O’Neill named Potts to succeed Robertson as deputy mayor.
Bowman reported the reconstitution of the Trail Committee and noted that a Facebook group, Friends of the Nelsonville Trail, has formed. He also mentioned a cleanup of the Nelsonville woods, scheduled for Saturday, June 23. Volunteers will meet at the Wood Street parking area, near Gatehouse Road, at 9 a.m.
Jason Angell, a leader of the Philipstown Community Congress, told the board that plans are underway for a one-day “loop” bicycle ride through Cold Spring and Nelsonville, with some streets closed. O’Neill said the village “would be delighted to cooperate” and Bowman and Potts agreed to act as liaisons.
The board unanimously approved proclamations honoring Robertson and Peggy Clements for their efforts on behalf of the village. Clements, a member of the Haldane school board, had served on the Zoning Board of Appeals. She said the amount of work that can be required, demonstrated by the months the ZBA spent considering the Rockledge Road cell tower application, made it impossible for her to continue, given her obligations as an elected school board member.