Robert Myers abruptly resigned last week as Princetown town supervisor, and has been replaced by Town Board member Louis Esposito.
At a special Town Board on Dec. 22, Myers read a resignation statement that cited an anonymous letter he had received attacking himself and his 81-year-old father, and also attacks from opponents he characterized as “lie after lie after lie.” “While we have accomplished several good things, I don’t feel I have been able to unite the community, and therefore I am tendering my resignation as town supervisor, effective today,” Myers wrote.
Myers, who was elected supervisor a year ago after 12 years on the Town Board, declined to give a phone interview on Thursday.
Immediately after his resignation, the board appointed Esposito to replace Myers. Esposito before the meeting had resigned from the Town Board position he had held for six years.
Esposito was sworn in by Schenectady County Legislature Chairman Anthony Jasenski, who was at the meeting. Esposito wouldn’t talk about Myers’ reasons. “He’s been talking about it for a long time,” said Esposito, who described Myers as a close friend.
Esposito, 69, is a semi-retired commercial truck owner-operator. He is a cousin of Jasenski’s and a nephew of the late Eunice Esposito, the long-time Rotterdam town clerk.
With the appointment, Esposito will serve through the end of 2017. He said Thursday he hasn’t decided if he will run for the office next November. “It all depends on how things work out this year,” he said, referring to 2017. “I haven’t made my decision yet.”
Esposito said he hopes, as Myers said he did, to end the political fighting that has often characterized the town. “I’ve always been able to get along with anybody,” Esposito said. “All I’m looking for is the interests of the town.”
Mike Joyce, the former town supervisor who lost to Myers in November 2015, denied he was behind any anonymous attacks on Myers, but criticized how the power transfer was handled, with no public notice of the pending changes. “It just stinks,” he said. “They set the meeting on the pretext of having to set a date for the organizational meeting. At the end of the night, three of the five people (on the Town Board) haven’t been picked by the public.”
The supervisor’s position is part-time, with an annual salary of $7,900. Princetown, with about 2,100 residents, is the smallest-population town in Schenectady County. Jim Pavoldi, a retired Schenectady firefighter, was appointed at the same meeting — and before Myers’ announcement — to take the Town Board seat previously held by Esposito.
Pavoldi hasn’t previously held elected office, but was involved in the effort that brought a replica of the Vietnam memorial wall the town, and helped install a new computer system at Town Hall.
Councilwoman Susan Shafer, an independent, voted against the appointments. Another Town Board seat will change on New Year’s Day, when Republican Ben Jacaruso takes office after defeating Tom LaBelle. LaBelle has been serving on the Town Board by appointment. Joyce said he is still considering another run for supervisor next year.