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Elma to name boardroom in honor of longtime supervisor

The Elma Town Board will dedicate its conference room in Town Hall, 1600 Bowen Road, to the memory of one of the town’s longest-serving supervisors, J. William Lexo.

The public is invited to the ceremony at 10 a.m. Aug. 3, where Lexo’s family members will be present. The event will be followed by a reception.

Lexo passed away in 2003 at age 78. He served the town for 24 years, from 1963 to 1987, when he retired.

In August 2002, Lexo wrote a memoir of his career as supervisor for the Elma Historical Society.

He said that when he first became supervisor, Elma was mainly a rural farming community, but it had changed into a residential community by the time he retired.

He said the first big project facing him and the board then was a water district. “The previous officials had created the district and made an application for federal funding. Our board was the one that received notice the funding was approved, and we had to start construction in 1964.”

It took several years to complete, and it ultimately included 90 miles of water lines. The area east of Cazenovia Creek was added to the district and resulted in the entire town now being included.

The cost was a little less than $4 million.

He also recalled the beginnings of Moog Inc., which started out in an airplane hangar on Jamison Road, eventually growing to the worldwide company it is today.

“Over the years, many changes and improvements were made to the town,” he recalled. “We built playgrounds, football fields, tennis courts, baseball diamonds and park facilities. We purchased park land, we eliminated a landfill by building a transfer station for garbage compactors, we renovated our library, added a substation for the sheriffs and created a historical building from what was once the Elma Methodist Church Parish Parsonage.”

Lexo also wrote: “If I could pass on a little advice from my experiences, it would be: know both sides of a story before you make a decision, and tell the truth – you can be sure it is the same every time.

“You meet a lot of nice people in politics, but you also get accused of being a bad guy just because you are in politics also. If you are honest, you just disregard it.”