GALWAY — Councilman Mike Smith was appointed as town supervisor by the Town Board on Wednesday following the death of Supervisor Paul Lent, who was killed in June as a result of an agricultural accident on his Galway farm.
Smith said he will serve as supervisor for the rest of the year and will be on the ballot for the position in November.
"I've enjoyed working on the board," he said. "The opportunity was there and it's something I'm interested in.
"I care deeply about the community and I hope to give something back."
Smith, a 15-year Galway resident, said Lent became supervisor five years ago when he was first elected to the board.
"He was a phenomenal man — very level headed and knowledgeable," Smith said of Lent. "He was a great guy and he's sorely missed."
The Saratoga County Fair, which runs until Sunday in Ballston Spa, began on Tuesday with a memorial to Lent, who served on the fair board.
Deputy Supervisor Fred Arnold, who has served on the board for nine years, said Smith was willing and capable of serving as supervisor.
"There's no doubt in my mind that he'll do a good job," Arnold said of Smith. "He's got some learning to do as far as how the position works, but I think he'll take it and run with it."
Arnold said Lent did "an awful lot for the town and the county."
"Paul was a super guy — he was fair and knowledgeable," Arnold said. "Every day that goes by we learn about another thing he did.
"He always knew what to do."
Arnold said the town will continue to conduct business while keeping the safety of its residents a priority.
"We're taking baby steps moving forward," he said. "We'll see how it goes."
Smith said the Town Board is expected to appoint his replacement in the next month or so.
"I need to get my feet under me and put my arms around some things, and keep moving forward," he said. "We've got to carry on what we've been doing.
"I have big shoes to fill."
The Galway Town Board meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. at 5910 Sacandaga Road in Galway.