CHARLTON — Charlton Town Supervisor Alan R. Grattidge will be retiring at the end of the year after 15 years as supervisor of this small southwestern Saratoga County town.
Grattidge, who is 65, will depart on Dec. 31, half-way through his eighth two-year term. Town Councilman Joe Grasso, who is the deputy supervisor, is expected to be named to replace him until the 2021 general election.
“I’m 65, I want to start doing more traveling, and I’m starting a new chapter in my life, that’s why I’m leaving,” Grattidge said.
Grattidge, a Republican, was elected supervisor in 2005, after serving nine years on the Town Board — a total of 24 years in town office.
“The highlight for me at the town level is that we have gone 15 years in a row without a town tax or highway tax,” Grattidge said, adding that he expects to be able to maintain that policy in the 2021 budget he is now developing, despite the revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “This will be the hardest year,” he acknowledged.
The town has in fact been without a property tax since 1982, relying primarily on revenue from the county sales tax.
Grattidge said the construction of the new Town Hall on Charlton Road — though the construction was plagued by controversy — is also a highlight of his time in office. The new building, which had been discussed for years, opened in 2009.
He said he’s also proud of having overseen development of the town’s first comprehensive land use plan, updating of the zoning ordinance, and development of a town farmland protection plan.
On the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, he was chairman of the board in 2013, the year that the county completed both the sale of its landfill in Northumberland and what was then a county-owned nursing home, Maplewood Manor. Both sales were in the works for more than a year because of tough financial straits then facing the county, but they were completed on his watch.
“Those both had huge ramifications for the county,” Grattidge said. “The landfill is going to produce revenue for the county for the next 20 years, and the nursing home was running at a $5 million deficit every year, and we stopped that.”
Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle has worked with Grattidge over the years on local issues, and Charlton buys its public water from Glenville.
“I was saddened to learn that Supervisor Grattidge has decided to leave public service,” Koetzle said. “Alan has always been a gentleman to work with while also being a strong advocate for his community. We worked together on many issues and I have always considered him a friend. I wish him well in his retirement, he has earned it.”
Grattidge and his older brother are also expecting to downsize their excavating business, Charlton Suburban Services. “I may travel south in the winter, but Charlton will always be home,” he said. “I’m optimistic about the future of Saratoga County.”
Grattidge said he thinks Grasso will do a good job. “I’ve been working with him for seven years. I think I’m leaving the town in good shape,” he said.
Grasso, 54, is a vice-president and project manager at the CHA engineering firm in Colonie, where he has worked for 25 years. He was elected to the Town Board in 2013, and — like all the current board members — is a Republican.
“Alan has been a great mentor to me and a great leader for the town,” he said. “We’ve faced very fiscally challenging times before and next year will be a tough year too.”
Town supervisor is considered a part-time job, and Grasso said he believes he administer the town will also managing engineering projects. “I am used to working long hours, and I am confident I can balance both jobs,” he said.
The supervisor earns a salary of $12,500 from the town, but also receives about $20,000 from the county for service on the county Board of Supervisors.
Reach staff writer Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.