Village of Walden Mayor Susan Taylor announced at last Tuesday’s village board meeting that she will not be running for re-election.
“I think I’ve done my due diligence as far as public service goes and I think it’s time to retire and let somebody else take over,” Taylor said.
She has served on the village board since 2009, serving as mayor since 2015. During her time as mayor, the board has worked hard to improve the village infrastructure. One of her proudest moments came when the new department of public works (DPW) facility was finished. This building incorporates the water department as well.
“It was small prior to this,” Taylor said. “A lot of our equipment had to sit out in the weather. It was difficult for the mechanic to work. So, the new facility really helps us to take care of our equipment, keep the men and women that work for the DPW safe and it’s fiscally responsible. It’s a green building, it has radiant heating in the floors.”
As much as Taylor has enjoyed public service, the darkest days of her tenure came after Walden Police Officer Dustin James died in a crash on April 18, 2017. James was off duty, heading eastbound on Route 44-55 in Gardiner when his motorcycle and a car heading northbound out of Bruynswick Road collided.
“That will weigh on my heart for the rest of my life,” Taylor said. “It was just a horrible experience for all of us, but I have to say I was so grateful for all the agencies that came to our aid and all of the support that we got from the community at large and from the police community who really pitched in to help our village during those days.”
Taylor continues to think of James each day, as he was one of the most extraordinary people she has ever known.
The mayor noted that everything accomplished during her time as mayor was through the teamwork of the village board. She is looking forward to her retirement from a long career in public service.
“[I am] looking forward to spending time with my husband and relaxing,” Taylor said.