BLOOMINGDALE - A veteran St. Armand town councilman has been tapped to be the town's interim supervisor.
Charles Whitson Jr. will be appointed to as the town's "successor supervisor" at a special board meeting Dec. 27, Councilman and current Deputy Supervisor Sam Grimone said Tuesday night. Whitson will fill the seat left vacant by the Dec. 3 death of Supervisor Joyce Morency, who had held the position since 1982.
The announcement that Whitson will become the town's interim supervisor followed a 25-minute executive session involving Grimone, Whitson and Councilman Donald Amell. Councilman Earl "Jimmy" Dakin was absent.
St. Armand Councilman Charles Whitson Jr., right, talks with Connie Willette, clerk to the supervisor, following Tuesday night’s town board meeting, when it was announced that Whitson will serve as the town’s interim supervisor.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)
Whitson served as a town councilman for 32 years until he stepped down from the board two years ago. He was appointed to a vacant seat last year, then won election to an unexpired term in November 2011.
"I think Joyce would be very happy with this choice," said Connie Willette, who was clerk to the supervisor under Morency. "Charlie's been on the board a long time. He's the most knowledgeable person in the town of St. Armand as far as general everything."
A full, four-year supervisor term will be on the ballot in November 2013. Whitson will serve as interim supervisor through December 2013, at which point the winner of the election will take over.
Whitson said he hasn't decided whether he'll run for a full term as supervisor
"It depends on the scenario and what have you," he said. "I'm going to give it some time down the road, and I'll make that decision in another six months or so."
During his tenure as interim supervisor, Whitson said he'll be working with the board to provide a "a little more openness" to town government.
"You can see that in the way that we've started to move with having our own website and so forth," Whitson said. "Those are the kinds of things that weren't thought of a whole lot when Joyce was in office. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but we're going to try some different lines."
Morency, 77, died at her daughter's home in Potsdam following a long battle with cancer. Tuesday night's town board meeting was the first since her passing.
The town board paid tribute to Morency with a moment of silence at the start of the meeting. It then unanimously approved a resolution of gratitude and appreciation to Morency for her leadership and commitment to the community during her 30-year tenure as supervisor.
Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.