McGreevy resigns from Wilmington council

WILMINGTON — Wilmington town Councilor Paula McGreevy resigned from the town board on Wednesday, later saying that she resigned because she felt her integrity was being questioned. Her resignation was effective immediately.

Town Supervisor Roy Holzer said the board now has to choose someone to complete McGreevy’s term, which is set to end on Dec. 31, 2023. He said that because McGreevy submitted her resignation after June 20 of this year, it’s too late to put her seat on the ballot for this November’s election.

Holzer didn’t want to specify the process the board would go through to choose a new board member on Friday — he said he first wanted to talk with the rest of his board members. He expects to schedule a special meeting over the next week or two to discuss who should fill McGreevy’s vacancy.


McGreevy said on Friday that she didn’t want to get into the details of why she resigned, though she said she’s felt a sense of division in Wilmington recently. She added that some discussions at the council’s last board meeting on Tuesday made her feel like her integrity was being questioned.

Town Councilor Tina Terry Preston said on Friday that short-term vacation rentals had been the “hot topic” of Tuesday’s meeting.

The town in 2019 approved new STR regulations that would require STR owners to register with a two-year permit system, though Preston said implementing that system was put on hold during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. The town has now moved forward with the permitting process, she said.

Preston said that the original intention of those regulations was to reassess how the permitting system was working once the two-year period is up. Preston said that she’d like to form a volunteer committee of local residents in the next several months to handle complaints and other issues people in town have with STRs, but she said those would be handled after the two-year period. To address the local need for long-term housing in the meantime, she said, she’s compiling a list of people who need housing in Wilmington and talking with local landlords so she can connect renters with landlords whenever housing becomes available.

Preston said that a resident at Tuesday’s meeting asked board members who own STRs — which include McGreevy and Holzer, according to Preston — if they were tailoring STR regulations to their advantage. While McGreevy didn’t reference that particular question, she said she felt her motives were being questioned at the meeting.

A group of Wilmington residents has submitted numerous letters to the editor to the Enterprise and the Lake Placid News saying that they believe the town’s STR regulations aren’t stringent enough. Some other Wilmington residents, including Holzer, have submitted their own letters defending the STR regulations.

McGreevy also said that another board member, who she declined to name, made a “vulgar and rude remark” on Tuesday about people in the community who are receiving financial assistance, and she said that no one “batted an eye” at the remark. She said that was “the last straw.”

Town Councilor Tim Follos said on Friday that he’d made a “throwaway quip” at the meeting at his own expense, and he said he wasn’t directing the comment at any other community members. He said he would be disappointed, saddened and surprised if his comment, which he declined to repeat, contributed to McGreevy’s resignation.

Follos said it’s not easy being a board member during tense debates at meetings that are well-attended — especially recently — by Wilmington residents. He said he didn’t “blame anyone” for not wanting to be on the board and face that kind of pressure.

McGreevy said she has a long history of volunteerism in the community — she’s a volunteer with the Wilmington Volunteer Fire Department and emergency medical services, among other organizations — and she said she’s not going anywhere.

“I can still give back to my community without my motives being questioned,” she said, “and my integrity is intact.”

In his weekly supervisor’s report posted on social media on Thursday, Holzer expressed sadness at McGreevy’s departure from the board.

“I’ve known Paula my entire life,” he told the Enterprise on Friday. “She’s always been involved in the community well before she was ever in an elected position, and my gut feeling is she’ll be involved in the community well after.”

McGreevy was elected to the town council in November 2019 — garnering 375 votes — after filling a vacancy left by Steve Corvelli, who resigned earlier that year.


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