Audrey Hoskins takes minutes during the Oct. 18 Essex Town Board meeting, her first back as Town Clerk after replacing Cathy DeWolff, who resigned her post Oct. 12. Hoskins previously retired from the position last December and will stay on until the November 2013 elections.
Just when everything appeared to be returning to normal, another resignation announcement came to the Essex Town Council. This time, it was one of their own.
During the same Oct. 18 meeting where Supervisor Sharon Boisen announced the appointment of former town clerk Audrey Hoskins to fill the remainder of the term vacated by Catherine DeWolff, councilman James LaForest said that it was his intent to leave his position Nov. 30.
“I have been talking about resigning from this board, and Nov. 30 will be my last day,” LaForest said after an exchange between himself and Boisen where he threatened to take her gavel and “throw it through the wall.”
“I know how delighted you will be at that,” LaForest said to Boisen. “If you want me to resign even earlier and you have someone in mind, then I will do that.”
Afterwards, Boisen said that she was approached by someone who expressed interest in the position at the meeting and would put them in contact with LaForest.
“He did not put in an official resignation, so we did not act on anything tonight,” Boisen said.
LaForest’s announcement came on the same night that Hoskins returned to the town table as clerk.
“I had been involved with some problems with the reports of the previous town clerk,” Hoskins said, referring to a pair of reports that DeWolff had not submitted because she was seeking an error that occurred. “I was told later that Cathy had resigned and asked if I would be interested in coming back, and I said that I would.”
“Audrey submitted a letter of interest, and I think that she was a logical choice,” Boisen said. “She shared an interest in helping us get past this and move forward.”
Hoskins said that she would serve in the position until Dec. 31, 2013, and hoped that she could find a deputy town clerk that would be willing to take the reigns and run for the position in next November’s election.
“This is temporary for me,” she said. “I am not seeking election.”
DeWolff submitted her resignation to the state Comptroller Oct. 12, one week after completing and filing the July and August clerk reports.
“The deputy supervisor (Mark Wrisley) and I had looked over the reports to make sure that those numbers worked with ours, and they did,” Boisen said. “She then submitted the September report on Oct. 11 and resigned the next day.”
DeWolff’s resignation letter said that “a personal matter requires that I tender my resignation effective immediately.”
During the meeting, Boisen asked that the September report by DeWolff be tabled.
“We need to review it further,” she said. “We have reviewed it once, but feel it needs a closer look.”
Deputy Town Clerk Donna Haynes also resigned her post, stating she did so because she did not want to be the next in line for the position of clerk.
“It is my understanding that being the deputy town clerk, I am expected to take over her responsibilities,” Haynes resignation letter stated. “While I sympathize with the hardship this may cause, I am also resigning.”
Haynes said that she would continue on as the water and sewer rents clerk for the town through the remainder of the year, and both she and Boisen hoped that she would be re-appointed to the position by the board in 2013.