After serving on the Village of Montgomery’s board for more than a decade, Walter Lindner officially resigned from his position as trustee during the village’s November 21 meeting at the Montgomery Senior Center. Kevin Conero, chairman of the village’s planning board, will fill Lindner’s seat until March, when he will need to run for a one-year term on the board.
Mayor Steve Brescia received Lindner’s resignation letter the day of the meeting and read it out loud to the residents and trustees. Lindner, in his letter, said he could no longer serve on the board due to his current health but expressed his joy and pride working for the village as a trustee.
“I am regretfully resigning my position as a diligent Montgomery board member immediately. Due to my continuing health issues, I am unable to complete my obligations.” Lindner wrote. It has been my distinct pleasure to serve on the board of trustees for the past years. I am proud to have been a part of the democratic process that has and will continue to govern our wonderful village.”
As noted, Lindner feels confident in his service, research and decisions he made for the village and has faith that the board will choose a good follow-up trustee.
“I have, during my tenure, been a part of many changes and projects that have impacted our lives. I’ve always tried to research when possible, so as to make the best decisions for the greater good of the village. It is difficult to please all the people all the time,” Lindner wrote. “I am comfortable with the votes I’ve made, having done my best to look at all options. I am confident that you will make a good choice in finding your replacement for my position.”
After Brescia finished reading, the room broke out in applause for the former trustee. Brescia then highlighted Lindner’s work over the years, including his time on several committees within the village.
“Trustee Walter was a pleasure to serve on the board with. Walter served on the planning board many years ago, I think he was on the board of appeals before that, the fire district,” Brescia said. “He volunteered countless hours to the General Montgomery Day committee on the parade and also on the Memorial Day parade committee, the Breakfast Club, and so many others. He volunteered countless hours in our community and coached little league, was involved in Saint Mary’s Church, a strong contributor and my dear person for the original pickball courts.”
Brescia thanked Lindner for everything he’s done for the village and wishes for his well being.
“He is a true gentleman in every sense of the word, very humble, very soft-spoken, easygoing, respectful. He poured his heart and soul into the position of village trustee and I know the board is sorely going to miss him on the board. I thank him for his service and our prayers are with him every day, and they will continue to be,” Brescia said.
William Frank, the village attorney, also spoke about his brief experiences working with Lindner, emphasizing the trustee’s dedication to his job and the community.
“Through my work, I meet a lot of people who are elected officials, appointed officials. And Walt, during the brief time I had to work with him, really defined what a public servant is supposed to be,” Frank said. “Because that gentleman cares about the village, cared deeply about the job he was doing, and always tried to do it to the best of his ability.”
Following these comments, Brescia appointed a new trustee to fill Lindner’s seat: Kevin Conero, chairman of the village’s planning board. Brescia listed Conero’s experience, including his work on the planning board, the ZBA, the comprehensive plans, and more.
“Kevin has dedicated more hours to the village, volunteer work, and on the planning board than just about any person in the village,” Brescia explained. “He’s a past chairman of the ZBA, he served as chairman of the planning board for 30 plus years, chairman of the Comprehensive Plan committee since 2008, chaired the Historic Guidelines update committee, chairman of Committee for Zoning Changes during the moratorium, coordinated with the New York Forward Grant consultant for downtown revitalization, General Montgomery Day coordinator for over 30 years for vendors.”
“Very organized individual, good temperament. I feel comfortable with him coming onto the board as an easy, seamless transition. Very knowledgeable in IT, which is what we need, willing to help out,” he continued.
After the board approved the motion, Conero was sworn into office and joined his trustees at the table that night, drawing another round of applause from the room.