By CAROLINE MURRAY
Recorder News Staff
NORTHVILLE -- At a village meeting Tuesday, Northville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Thomas Groff announced his resignation, effective Aug. 31.
Gloversville Mayor Dayton King appointed Groff chief of the Gloversville Fire Department Aug. 15, and Groff said he will be sworn in Thursday.
He has served as fire chief in Northville for more than 15 years, but said he cannot maintain the title for both departments.
"I have to focus all of my efforts being chief in the city," Groff said. "I can't do both."
Ten minutes into the meeting, Mayor John Spaeth made a motion for an executive session to discuss personnel changes. When the board returned, Spaeth made a motion to appoint Douglas Ellsworth -- brother-in-law of village trustee Debra Ellsworth -- to the fire chief position.
All trustees were present and approved the appointment, with the exception of trustee Ellsworth, who abstained from the vote.
Groff said Douglas Ellsworth is a Northville resident and has been a part of the volunteer fire department for at least 30 years. Ellsworth will take over Sept. 1.
"Dougie will do a good job as chief," Groff said. "He is well deserving of the position."
Prior to being appointed fire chief of Gloversville, Groff served as the battalion chief and has been a paid fireman for 23 years.
King said his experience as Northville's fire chief helped with the decision to elect him chief of the city.
Groff currently lives in the town of Northampton.
He and his brother, Northampton Supervisor James Groff, grew up in Northville and have watched the area grow and change.
Groff said he has thoroughly enjoyed his time working with the men and women of the fire department. He officially joined the department 27 years ago. He said he will remain a member of the volunteer department, and continue to serve the village where he grew up.
At the meeting, Groff read a letter aloud to the board about his resignation, thanking the past and present members for their support throughout the years. He said the department rarely had any issues with the village board.
"Your board and its members both past and present have been a great source of support to our department, in all my years as chief," Groff said, while choking back tears. "I want to thank you all."
Spaeth congratulated Groff for his latest achievement.
"It is our loss," Spaeth said.
"But you aren't going too far," Ellsworth added.
Staff reporter Levi Pascher contributed
to this article. Contact Caroline Murray