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Holtz plans to retire as supervisor at year’s end

After what she calls a “forever” career in town government, Mary F. Holtz will retire as Cheektowaga supervisor Dec. 31.

The two-term Democrat, who was also clerk and deputy clerk of one of Erie County’s largest suburbs, said Thursday she will not seek a third term this year. Instead, she will support Town Clerk Alice Magierski as her successor.

“I’m happy with this decision,” Holtz said. “It will give me a good opportunity to do some things I’ve been putting on hold.

“It has nothing to do with health or with family,” she added. “It’s just time.”

Holtz, 65, won a close race in 2011 against Republican businessman Ted Morton – now a county legislator – after a campaign in which she touted reducing the costs of town government while maintaining services.

The daughter of former Cheektowaga Supervisor Benedict T. Holtz, she worked 32 years in the Town Clerk’s Office before her election as town clerk in 2003 and then to the town’s top job four years later.

The supervisor said she has been considering retirement for more than a year, adding that she feels she can now leave after keeping tax rates low, enacting reforms in the town’s health insurance program, and overseeing a capital improvement program.

“We’ve got a lot done in the last seven years, and hopefully will get some more done,” she said. “But I think I’ve done my time in public service.”

Councilwoman Diane Benczkowski is also mentioned as a possible candidate for supervisor.

Holtz, meanwhile, leaves Town Hall at a time of some controversy in Cheektowaga government following allegations that town equipment was misused and town employees were paid for work not performed – though none of those allegations are connected to her.

The Town Council in February received a report it commissioned by the Phillips Lytle law firm, and then unanimously asked Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman to investigate allegations surrounding the Highway Department.