By RICK REMSNYDER
The Plattekill Town Board will look a lot different next year after Town Supervisor Jennifer Salemo announced at the May 3 workshop meeting that Councilman Darryl Matthews has resigned due to personal reasons.
Salemo and Councilman Bill Kras have already said they won’t run for re-election, so a minimum of three spots on the five-person board will be filled by new town residents in 2024.
Matthews, Salemo and Kras are all Republicans.
Current board member Dean DePew Sr., who has the GOP endorsement, is running for supervisor in the November election against Democrat Michael Lembo.
Matthews, who is retired, won election to a second four-year term to the Town Board in November 2021. Prior to running for the board, he served on the Town Planning Board from 2011-17. Matthews’ family owned and operated Modena Country Club Inc., a mobile home park from 1967 through 2020.
“Sadly, he has resigned,” Salemo said. “He is tending to some personal family business. I want to thank him for his services. We’re going to miss him.”
Salemo said the board will appoint someone to fill the seat through the end of 2023. Since Matthews had 2 ½ years left on his four-year term, an election will be held to fill the remainder of his term in November.
Salemo said Matthews handed in his resignation after the end of the April 19 board session.
Matthews said in an interview with the Southern Ulster Times on Monday that health issues in his family led to his resignation.
“With my parents getting much older and needing help, I’ve been going back and forth to Florida taking care of them,” he said. “There’s just not enough time to stay on the board. And personally, I have my own health issues I want to take care of and have a good life before I get older.”
Matthews said he enjoyed his time serving on the town board and the planning board.
“I had a great time the last 12 years with 6 ½ years on the planning board and 5 ½ years on the town board,” he said. “I definitely enjoyed every part of it. It’s hopefully time for somebody else to step in, take over and keep going with it.”
As far as a replacement, Salemo said “discussions have been started. We don’t have a name yet, but we will soon.”
Salemo also said George Eason, the attendant at the town’s transfer station, recently passed away.
“We lost a true friend of the community,” Salemo said. “He was a warm, dedicated man.”
Eason started at the town’s highway department in 1983, DePew said. He also was a former town highway superintendent and a member of the Modena Volunteer Fire Department since 1984, according to DePew.
“He was also the captain of our fire police and directed traffic diligently at many of our calls,” DePew said. “He definitely was someone who gave a lot of himself.”