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Eppolito retiring from supervisor position

CONCORD—Gary Eppolito announced his retirement from the Town of Concord Supervisor position, effective the end of his current term. Finishing up his third term as supervisor, Eppolito said it’s time to hand over the reins.

“It’s time for me to retire. I’ve enjoyed it, I love serving people,” he said. “I’m hoping to see my grandchildren and family more. It’s the right time.”

Eppolito was elected to the supervisor position in 2005, after serving as both a trustee and mayor for the Village of Springville. He began as an elected official in 1979 as a member of the Springville Zoning Board of Appeals, before moving to the Village Board of Trustees in 1994. He was elected Springville Mayor in 1997, where he served until his move to the supervisor position.

“That’s almost 24 years of elected service. I never really intended to be in public service” he said. “I was really blessed to have had … two careers. I taught in West Valley for 33 years … I really have been blessed.”

Under his tenure in both the mayor and supervisor positions, Eppolito worked to improve the municipalities for residents. The 2001 implementation of the Springville Police Department was done so under Eppolito, he also was instrumental in restarting the Erie County Water Quality Committee with the towns of Brant and Evans and worked to build the Lake Erie Water Quality Committee with Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.

Eppolito first toyed with retirement after his second term, but wanted to see the senior center be built. Having been a champion for the center, and senior services, he couldn’t leave before that was completed.

“We were so close … I had worked on that for almost 8 years,” he said. “I couldn’t just walk away without seeing that center come to fruition.”

He considers the completion of the senior center one of his proudest accomplishments while serving as supervisor. Initiating the senior transportation service, he said, is among his other proudest accomplishments. While the county provides a similar service, Eppolito said it wasn’t meeting the needs of the seniors in Concord.

“I really wasn’t aware of senior needs,” he said. “I’m really proud to have been here when we got those done.”

Getting Mercy EMS to operate in the town, which took close to six months, and improving relations between the village and town are two other accomplishments Eppolito is proud of. He noted there are a lot of little things which he’s proud of, as well, but none of them would have been accomplished without the town board.

“We stayed under the tax cap for the three years it’s been in effect, the renovations at the Lucy Bensley Center, our website … we didn’t have a webpage when I started,” Eppolito said. “All those wouldn’t have been done without the board. I have had outstanding and understanding town boards. I’m going to miss them.”

Eppolito also credited the staff at the town hall for working with him over the years, and the residents of the town. Working with the residents, he said, was among his favorite parts of the job.

“I always allowed folks to come in any time and talk to me,” he said. “If I could fix their problems, I would, if I couldn’t, I’d at least give them a reason why.”

Before beginning his “second career” in public office, Eppolito worked with SYI for 13 years, running summer camps. He has worked with the Boy Scouts and sits on the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Board, which he hopes to continue. As a member of public office, Eppolito has been involved with a variety of committees. The Concord IDA, which he chairs, the Environmental Council, NEST and the Association of Erie County Government are just a few of his extracurriculars.

“I hope to be able to stay with the IDA if the board will let me,” he said. “And the hospital board, I’ll continue that. But I’m ready to retire.”

While his work is almost complete, Eppolito said any incoming supervisor will have their hands full. He highlighted completing the sewer district merging at Kissing Bridge at Crane Ridge, putting some money into the highway barns and working toward better wireless internet in the town as important issues moving forward.

“There’s always something,” he said.

As for himself, Eppolito is looking forward to getting back to the golf course, gardening and woodworking when he is officially retired. He thanked both the town residents and his wife, Carolyn, for sticking with him.

“I have a very understanding wife … that has been a real blessing,” he said. “When I go, it will be with a tear in my eye, but it’s time for new enthusiasm, new ideas.”

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