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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
Former mayor Donald Yerdon passes the gavel to his successor Russell Vance, who was appointed Nelliston mayor Monday after Yerdon's resignation.

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Long-time Nelliston mayor resigns

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - Updated: 8:22 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

NELLISTON - During a special meeting called by the Nelliston Village Board Monday afternoon, long-time Mayor Donald Yerdon resigned, citing health problems. Three-term Trustee and Deputy Mayor Russell Vance also resigned, with the board appointing Alan Wainwright to fill his unexpired term on the council.

The board appointed Vance Nelliston's new mayor.

The third Monday of March, 2014, the board will have to reappoint Vance. He will then fill out the remainder of Yerdon's term -- one year from that point -- at which time he can decide to run for the position.

Wainwright will have to be reappointed by the board on a yearly basis until the end of Vance's unexpired four-year term. When the term expires in just-over three years, he can choose to run for the council seat.

Yerdon made it clear that his resignation was not a decision he made lightly. The decision to resign after nearly 23 years in the position, he said, was made out of necessity, as failing health wouldn't kept him from properly performing his mayoral duties.

"This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do," said Yerdon, continuing, "It has nothing to do with anything that's going on in the village. Due to the illness, it's my sincere regret that as of 2/10/2014, at 1 p.m. in the afternoon, I am forced to resign the position as mayor of Nelliston."

"I wish nothing but the best for the village board, and complete success in the future. It has been nothing but my pleasure to serve the residents of this village," said Yerdon.

"I'll try my best to fill your shoes, but there's some big shoes to fill here," responded Vance, continuing, "I just hope the village keeps going as smoothly as it has."

Yerdon issued appreciation to the current and previous boards he's worked with, his superintendent, and his "right hand woman" Village Clerk Lynda Conrad. "Without her, we wouldn't have been as successful as we are," Yerdon said.

"I'm sad to see him go. He's learned a lot and come a long way. He's done a lot for the village," commented Conrad.

Of his time as mayor, Yerdon stated, "I may not have been perfect at times, but I gave it my best."

Yerdon listed some of his proudest accomplishments in his 22 years and 10 months as Nelliston mayor, including "bringing this village into the 21st century," which he said he accomplished, "along with my board -- I didn't do it alone."

"I think we've improved our infrastructure as far as our streets. We've been working adamantly on that," he stated.

Another success, he said, was "beautifying the village through the NAC" (the Nelliston Activities Council), which he founded over 20 years ago with Barbara Alkinburgh and Conrad.

Yerdon noted that he will not continue as a member of NAC.

Yerdon spoke about some of the major issues the village board will soon deal with under Vance, who will also take over a seat on the Montgomery County Sanitary District No. 1 Board of Directors.

The district, Yerdon said, is currently under consent order by New York State to cut down on inflow and infiltration, including ground water leaks and pump station overflow, which deposits raw sewage into the Mohawk River.

The order to remedy the situation has been extended to 2015. Yerdon said that to fix the problem, sewer lines will either have to be lined or replaced, of which he stated, "The only way I can see paying for it ... village tax is going to have to go up."

Speaking as a citizen, Yerdon said he also hopes the board will work on contacting the state to have speed limits altered in parts of Nelliston. He said he would like to see the 30-miles-per-hour designation moved from mile marker 10-97 (by the Edge of Town Trailer Court) to 10-99 (by the Valley Alliance Church). The currently 40-mile-per-hour spot has a significant amount of accidents, Yerdon said, as tanker trucks and elderly people going to church frequent the busy area.

Yerdon said he spoke to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, who will have a patrol car clocking speed and surveying the area as of March, 2014.

Yerdon's last order of business as mayor was to, prior to his resignation, suggest that a resolution be adopted to ban on-street parking for 24 hours after any major winter event, including heavy snow or ice. The village board unanimously approved the motion, made by Vance in his last act as village trustee.

The first village meeting with Vance presiding as mayor will be Feb. 20, at 6:30 p.m.

     

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