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Bensen sworn in as new town supervisor

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

New Town Supervisor John Bensen, right, and new Town Councilman Paul Macko, who stepped down as supervisor after 14 years, take their oaths of office at Tuesday’s reorganizational meeting. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

GREENVILLE — Former town councilman John Bensen was sworn in as Greenville’s new town supervisor at the annual reorganizational meeting Tuesday.

Bensen was elected in November to fill the seat formerly held by longtime supervisor Paul Macko, who instead ran for a town council seat.

“I will just try to do my best and be honest about everything. That’s all you can do,” Bensen said.

After getting elected in November, the new town supervisor said the town was going in the right direction under Macko’s leadership and he planned to continue on the same track.

But the coming year promises to be a difficult one, he predicted Tuesday.

“It’s going to be a tough year — financially, politically, everything,” Bensen said. “Last year was nothing compared to what is coming.”

Macko stepped down from the supervisor’s post due to personal reasons but wanted to continue contributing to the town’s governance and with the work he began as town supervisor, so he opted instead to run for a seat on the council.

He stepped down from the town’s top spot after 14 years due to personal reasons.

“I am a primary caregiver for my 94-year-old mom and it has been occupying more and more of my time,” Macko said when he announced he would not seek re-election as supervisor. “This is a way for me to still be involved and make sure some of the projects and undertakings that we are working on get completed.”

During Tuesday’s reorganizational meeting, Bensen named Macko the deputy town supervisor with no additional compensation. The board approved the resolution unanimously.

Also sworn into office was incumbent Town Councilman Will Von Atzingen, who was appointed to the post in September 2022 to replace former councilman Joel Rauf, who resigned when he moved out of the town. Von Atzingen is beginning his first full term on the council.

Other elected officials sworn in after winning re-election were Jessica Lewis as town clerk/tax collector and Michael Dudley as highway superintendent. All candidates in the November election ran unopposed. All are Republicans.

Town Justice Kevin Lewis, center, issuing the oath of office to newly elected and appointed town officials. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

The board approved several appointments during the reorganizational meeting, including:

  • Tal Rappleyea as town attorney.
  • Donald Teator as town historian.
  • Hope Nugent as assistant clerk/collector, clerk for the Building Department and assessor clerk.
  • Jessica Lewis as registrar of vital statistics.
  • Mark Overbaugh as code enforcement officer/sanitary septic ordinance inspector and zoning officer.
  • Gordon Bennett as sole assessor.
  • Renee Hamilton as superintendent of water works.
  • Zack McGrath as deputy water superintendent.
  • Cindy Moore as secretary to the highway superintendent.
  • Erik Nicholsen as deputy highway superintendent.
  • Walter Hubicki II M.D. as health officer.
  • Carol Dittmar and Adam Teator as part-time recycling operators, and Paul Augstein as per-diem recycling operator as needed.
  • Kim Leggio as court clerk.
  • Barbara Flach as library director.

Elected officials’ salaries were also set at the reorganizational meeting. The town supervisor’s salary was set at $15,782 per year. Each of the four town board members earns $6,884 annually. The two town justices are paid $11,471 a year. The town clerk/tax collector is paid $46,163 per year and the highway superintendent has an annual salary of $66,085.

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