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Hamburg supervisor could become the town attorney

Steven J. Walters

Outgoing Hamburg Supervisor Steven J. Walters is being considered for the town attorney's post in January.

Walters did not seek re-election after serving three terms as supervisor, and there has been speculation for months about his next job. The supervisor, who is an attorney, said he has been focusing on making sure there is a smooth transition in the supervisor's office and with the incoming Town Board members.

Also being considered for a position in the town's Legal Department is Dennis Gaughan, the attorney who lost the race for town supervisor last month to Jim Shaw.

The two-year appointment of the town attorney is made by the Town Board, and Republicans will have a 3-2 majority on the board in January. Walters is a Republican, and Gaughan, a registered Democrat, ran on the GOP line.

Two incoming board members said several names are being vetted for appointments, but nothing has been decided.

Jim Shaw

"All we are trying to do is what is best for the town," said Michael Mosey, a Republican who won a two-year term. "It's not a political thing for us, it's never been about the parties."

"That’s still in talks," said Michael Petrie, another incoming Republican. Petrie said incoming board members are getting letters and queries from a number of people interested in serving in a number of positions.

The board will increase from three to five members Jan. 1, and four of the five members will be new to the board.

"I think Steve Walters is a great guy. He's a good attorney. He knows municipal law really well," said Shaw, the incoming Democratic supervisor.

He said he would work with whomever is in the job, and Walters could provide a good transition, but Shaw questioned whether any chief executive would be able to disengage himself from past decisions as a new board comes into office.

Walters said he is interested in helping out any way he can.

"If the board considers me for something, I'd consider that an honor that they would think of me," Walters said.

Gaughan said he would be "thrilled to do whatever I can" to help the town, either as town attorney, deputy town attorney or prosecutor. He has served as prosecutor in the town and the Village of Blasdell.

It would not be the first time the loser in a Hamburg supervisor's race wound up in the Legal Department. Democrats on the Town Board appointed Walter Rooth III town attorney after Walters beat him in the race for supervisor four years ago.

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