[UPDATED] Martin leaves Rotterdam Town Board for county seat

Former Councilwoman Nicola DiLeva returns to board, Godlewski questions process

— “She is very bright and educated, she is familiar with public employment … she wants to continue serving the Town of Rotterdam,” Buffardi said.

Before leaving office, DiLeva worked with Democratic board members and then incoming Supervisor Harry Buffardi to craft a budget amending for Supervisor Frank Del Gallo’s spending plan to achieve no layoffs and remain below its tax cap. Councilman Robert Godlewski and Del Gallo voted against the revised spending plan.

DiLeva publicly clashed several times with Del Gallo while she was on the board.

“Last time it was an awful experience. It was very contentious,” DiLeva said.

DiLeva did not run for reelection in 2011 when her term expired because she wanted to get out of politics as she pursued her doctorate degree in behavioral sciences.

“One of my lifelong dreams is to get my doctorate, and I have an opportunity to pursue that," DiLeva said in April 2011. "It wasn't anything political; it is just that right now it is something that I have always dreamed of doing."

She was a registered Conservative during her previous term, but she has switched to the Democratic Party.

The speed at which the town’s meeting occurred troubled Councilman Robert Godlewski. The Spotlight received notice from the town less than 48 hours before the Saturday meeting at 10 a.m.

“Where was the process?” Godlewski asked.

Godlewski said he has nothing against DiLeva, but voted against her appointment because of the selection process. He said there are “a lot of other people” who have ran for office who weren’t given a chance. He mentioned several Republicans.

Buffardi said the rush to hold the meeting was due to Councilman Wayne Calder’s impending vacation that would leave him absent from the board’s Feb. 13 scheduled meeting. This would have left the board with three members, enough for a quorum, but Buffardi said approving resolutions might have been troublesome.

“Between myself and Godlewski and one other board member I don’t think we would get consensus. Government would stall, it would stop,” he said. “We had a seamless transition of government. … Everyone was available and everyone responded to the special meeting.”

Godlewski questioned what the board would vote on at its next meeting.

“It is perplexing to me and I can hardly wait to see what the agenda is going to say for next Wednesday,” he said.

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