By Dusten Rader
For The Recorder
BROADALBIN — Deputy Mayor Lawrence Cornell has assumed mayoral duties following Mayor Eugene Christopher’s death on Thursday.
According to Sheila Bleyl, village clerk and treasurer, Christopher’s passing has left two vacancies on village board due to the April 6 resignation of Trustee L. Eric Jones due to health reasons.
“It is with much sorrow that the Village Board announces the passing of Mayor Eugene Christopher,” Bleyl said. “I’ve worked with him for more than 30 years — he will be missed by many. He did a lot for this village. He was all about serving it.”
Christopher was appointed trustee in April of 1976, replacing Robert Richards who resigned due to illness. He continued to serve until December of 1991 when incumbent Mayor Larry Olmstead passed away. He was appointed mayor and served until April of 2005, when he did not seek re-election due to heart bypass surgery. Two years later, he returned to win the election and he continued to serve until his death. He was ran unopposed in the March 21 election and was re-elected.
Funeral arrangements for Christopher are being handled by Robert M. Halgas Funeral Home. An obituary will be in Saturday’s edition.
According to Bleyl, Cornell, a trustee, will assume mayoral duties until a new mayor is appointed by the board. Cornell was appointed deputy mayor during the village’s annual organizational meeting.
He said it was Christopher’s choice that he take on this responsibility, and that he is fulfilling Christopher’s wishes by doing so.
“I’ve worked on the board since early ‘90s very closely with Gene,” Cornell said “I’m not going to try to be Gene. He was an excellent mayor.”
Cornell said he was close with Christopher and grew up with his son. A lot of people will miss him, Cornell said.
Bleyl said in a release the board will be seeking interested village residents to fill the two vacancies. Cornell said he doesn’t know what will happen, but he will fulfill the duties of mayor until elections next March.
The remaining trustees are Mario Cristaldi and newcomer Steven Murrary, who was elected unopposed on March 21. Cornell said he is hoping for some “stability” going forward.
The regular monthly meeting and a public hearing on the village budget scheduled for Tuesday April 18, have been postponed until Tuesday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. respectively.