LOCKPORT – The Town Board presented departing Supervisor Marc R. Smith with a gift last week, two days after the board gave him a new job.
Smith will take over Jan. 1 as the town’s economic-development coordinator and administrative director of the town Industrial Development Agency at a salary of $75,000 a year, which is a raise of more than $22,000 over his pay as supervisor.
That vote came in Monday’s work session. On Wednesday, during Smith’s last formal board meeting as supervisor, the board presented him with a framed watercolor of a waterfall scene in John B. Austin Nature Park, the only one of the three town parks that existed before Smith took office. The other two, Day Road Park and Lytle Park, were created during Smith’s 10-year tenure as supervisor.
Smith was elected a councilman in 2003 and, starting in 2005, won five consecutive elections as supervisor. “That’s because he’s done a great job,” said Councilman and Supervisor-elect Mark C. Crocker.
Besides the parks, Smith played a key role in economic development, including the $700 million Yahoo data center campus in the town industrial park.
“That’s quite a project. It brings jobs and notoriety to the town,” Crocker said.
Crocker also cited the Tops and Home Depot plazas and the new Walmart, as well as the New York Beer Project, a microbrewery and gastropub that opened in late November. Crocker said, “People are coming from Amherst into the Town of Lockport to spend their money in this area,” Crocker said.
Politically, Crocker said Smith balanced 12 consecutive budgets with no general town tax. “The town’s financially stable,” Crocker said.
Smith said, “Unlike any other Town Board I know of, you guys actually participate and get your hands dirty.” He told the audience that the town’s department heads and employes deserve a lot of credit, too.
“They’ll do their very best to make sure your community continues to thrive,” Smith told the audience.
In another matter, no one showed up to speak at a public hearing on changing the town’s electronic sign law, which currently bans signs that change their image more often than once every 10 minutes. The law would be changed to allow signs that make changes every 60 seconds, which would allow for digital clocks.
The board didn’t vote on the law, but it intends to do so at a work session either Dec. 16 or 30.
Also Wednesday, Crocker reported that during the eight months of the drop-off operation this year, almost 60,000 pounds of electronics were left for recycling at Town Hall. The program will resume in March and continue through November, Crocker said.