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Town and Village

Road foreman retires after 25 years

NEWFANE—After serving the town for 25 years as a member of the highway department, Road Foreman Todd Lawley is retiring.

The Selectboard first mentioned Lawley’s decision at a special Board meeting on Sept. 11 and announced they would attempt to fill the position internally.

Before beginning the public portion of the Sept. 18 regular Selectboard meeting, the Board went into executive session to discuss Lawley’s retirement and to review applications for the job.

In open meeting, Board members unanimously voted to pay Lawley his accrued benefits, plus one month of COBRA health insurance. The body also unanimously voted to enter into negotiations with town employee Jay Wilson for the road foreman position.

Selectboard Chair Carol Hatcher read Lawley’s letter of resignation into the record.

After much deliberation, “I can now take my retirement from the town,” Lawley wrote in the letter.

“It has been good over all,” he added.

Lawley began working for the town highway department in July 1982 when the road crew operated out of the old town garage.

There was “no heat, [...] bathrooms, or running water,” Lawley said, and he and his colleagues had to maintain the trucks outside, even in the winter. Lawley noted the welcome change of the new town garage, which had more comfortable amenities for its workers.

In 2005, Lawley was appointed as road foreman.

“I have enjoyed working with all the different selectboards over the years,” Lawley said. He served on the Board and was its chair until Town Meeting 2017, when Lawley decided not to seek reelection.

Lawley offered thanks to Administrative Assistant Shannon Meckle. “Without Shannon, my job would have been much harder. She has done a lot for me and for this town over the years,” he said.

He also thanked his family for their patience and support “when things like Christmas and Thanksgiving had to be delayed a bit” because of flooding or snowplowing.

Lawley’s last day as a full-time town employee is Sept. 30. Town officials expect Wilson to begin on Oct. 1.

In Lawley’s letter, he offered to work part time to help Wilson’s transition, and during storms, “for as long as I’m needed.”

The Selectboard, Meckle, and attendees at the meeting thanked Lawley and gave him a round of applause.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #427 (Wednesday, September 27, 2017). This story appeared on page C1.

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