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Supervisor leaving on content note

After 20 years serving Newstead residents, Gerald F. Summe will end his career in public office this week.

Summe, supervisor for the past four years, and a Town Board member for 16 years, said "fiscal responsibility" is what he has been most proud of during his tenure.

"Watching over the finances of the town as chief fiscal officer has been both challenging and a wonderful education," Summe said. "It's a great feeling leaving office with the town in such fine financial shape at a time when other governments are raising taxes and struggling to maintain services. We are an exception."

Summe, a Republican, lost a bid last November for a third term to David L. Cummings, a Democrat and former town supervisor.

Summe said he, his staff and the Town Board had a number of notable accomplishments during his tenure.

He cited new projects like the senior center and Town Hall, as well as the "Route 5 rezoning, and town-wide water and drainage."

"Without the support of the Town Board, projects like this end up being talked about, but never happen," Summe said. "During my term as supervisor, we have hired the best people available for various positions and have increased the level of professionalism at the Town Hall. I leave my position knowing that town government is in excellent fiscal shape, and in capable hands.

Councilman Thomas George said Summe served the town with a great deal of passion. "He will be missed," he said.

Summe said he plans to keep all options open, but in the private sector. "I will miss working for the residents," he said.

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