The 24-chair Malta Republican Committee is one member smaller. Gerald Winters, a 57-year member of the committee and currently serving his 31st year on the town board, tendered his resignation Friday, June 6.
He cited concerns over the committee's leadership as his chief reason for leaving, saying that the last meeting of the committee was in April of 2007, and members have not received the minutes yet.
I hate to see it go this way, said Winters in a phone interview. "It's unbelievable. For so many years everything in the town ran so smooth, then all of a sudden we started having all sorts of interference and dissention."
William Smith, a member of the town's planning board and chairman of the Malta Republican Committee, doesn't disagree with Winters.
"There's been a difference of opinion in the room since about 2005," he said. "We haven't met in a year because there's a lot of bickering going on, and we needed some time to cool off."
Smith also said that it has always been the plan to present the minutes for the committee's last meeting at their next gathering.
The committee is composed of two representatives from each of Malta's 12 districts. Sharing District 10 with Winters is Donna Gizzi, a former town board member.
In his letter of resignation, Winters states the committee's lack of support for Gizzi in last year's election also influenced his decision, saying, "The chairman has accused others on the committee of not supporting the endorsed candidates, yet he himself turned Donna Gizzi, an endorsed candidate, away from his door when he held a press conference last year."
"They need to be objective and stick with what their objective is," said Gizzi of the committee. According to her, part of that responsibility is picking the right candidates to endorse.