Weekly Feature

2017-10-12 / Front Page

Trustee to resign from Village Board

Bill Reuter leaving board for administrative position at Hudson Valley Community College
by CHRIS GRAHAM
Editor


Reuter Reuter Since June, regular attendees of Village Board meetings have noticed the consistent absence of Trustee Bill Reuter.

During the spring, Reuter was recruited by an executive search firm for Hudson Valley Community College. After several interviews, Reuter made the decision to leave his post as chief administrative and financial officer at Erie Community College and take the vice president for administration and finance position at the Troy, New York-based college.

Away from his home of Orchard Park pursuing the new endeavor, Reuter will be resigning from the board in the next 30 days.

Being a five-member board, the village was still able to conduct business as usual during Reuter’s absence.

Reuter and Mayor Jo Ann Litwin Clinton did not expect the number of meetings missed to mount up as they did, but Reuter said the job was more demanding then he originally figured.

“It’s been a much more intense process than I anticipated,” Reuter said.

The original plan had Reuter making some meetings during the summer, according to Litwin Clinton. She added that she held back from making a public statement on the absences due to respect for Reuter, his family and the decision they had to make.

Since joining the college at the end of June, Reuter has still been working with the board remotely, tasked with dealing with procedures and policies for the village along with other duties. He also worked with ECC remotely before finishing up in July.

“I was trying to manage working on my responsibilities at Erie, doing this job and doing village work. It was a little bit much,” said Reuter of the workload that caused him to be absent from the meetings.

Reuter joined the board in May 2016, with a strong financial background. Since reporting remotely, Litwin Clinton said she’s taken over the financial duties of the village.

Litwin Clinton said she and Reuter have been in constant contact during the summer and currently about the state of the village. The mayor added that Reuter wanted to test the waters of his new position in the early months. Now, Reuter loves the decision he’s made but said it was one he went back and forth on.

“Professionally, it was a great opportunity for me,” he said. “I’d been at Erie for over 18 years and to move here, there were a lot of pluses and minuses on both sides of the ledger.”

Reuter is keeping a residence in Orchard Park but will be living near the college during the school year.

This is not the first time the Village Board has found itself with four members instead of five. The board was down to four members in 2014 after former mayor John Wilson died, and in 2016, when former Deputy Mayor David Rood left due to a health issue.

Litwin Clinton can appoint someone to Reuter’s position and, depending on when the appointment occurs, that person would most likely run for a permanent spot on the board in the village election in 2019. The candidate would absorb a portion of Reuter’s four-year term that began in March.

The mayor has been in contact with Hal Fabinski, the chair of the Orchard Park Republican Committee, about potential candidates.

She added that any interested village resident can send a resume to the Village Office to be reviewed. The ideal candidate would have a financial background, Litwin Clinton said.

When Reuter joined the board, he came with the previous experience of being a member of the East Aurora School Board and Aurora Town Board.

Litwin Clinton said prior board experience isn’t necessary but added that it would be a plus with two trustees who have been on the board since 2015 and March, respectively.

Spending a year and a half working with Reuter, Litwin Clinton said the trustee’s strengths were his financial background and knowledge of keeping municipal funds. She added that he’ll be greatly missed by the board.

“We as a board understand that his decision has to be for his family, and we support him 100 percent,” she said.

Reuter said he’ll miss the cohesiveness and drive of the board.

“They had one motivation, and that’s to improve the quality of life for the residents.”

email: cgraham@beenews.com

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