“It was a shock to all of us,” said Town of Montgomery Planning Board Chairman Fred Reichle.
The board’s meeting last week started on a somber note as Reichle advised residents that longtime planning board member Richard Montemarano had died unexpectedly at home on Oct. 30.
“The planning board notes with sadness the untimely passing of planning board member Richard J. Montemarano,” said Chairman Reichle, reading the resolution which recognized his more than 14 years of service on the board and the “countless hours of time” he spent on final review, site visits, training sessions and preparation for the many planning board meetings.
“Richard’s diligence was an invaluable asset to the planning board as he was known to review the entire record of every application and often would be able to cite with specificity a particular document even if it had been generated years earlier,” the resolution stated.
“We’ve been before the board for many years and he always was incredibly diligent and thoughtful. It was clear that even though sometimes we didn’t agree, that he always had the best interests of the Town of Montgomery at heart,” said attorney Dominic Cordisco, representing UNFI at the following public hearing.
“It’s really sad not to see Rich here and he truly will be missed,” said resident Fred Mertz.
Residents also commented on the live stream, including Cory Zahokos, who stated: “May Rich rest in peace. He was dedicated to the board and the town and always tried to do his best to do what was right.”
The resolution was passed unanimously by the planning board, recognizing Richard Montemarano’s “many years of dedicated service to the planning board and to the people of the town” and extending the board’s condolences to his family and friends.
“Thank you, Rich,” said Chairman Fred Reichle.