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Henderson Town Council appoints replacement deputy supervisor, proposes Water District 2 EDU rates

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HENDERSON — The Town Council on Thursday night filled the vacancy left with the death of Frank W. Ross, deputy supervisor.

The council appointed John J. Culkin to the seat, effective immediately, until the position comes up for a vote in November. While Mr. Culkin is the only approved candidate on the ballot for the position, he could be unseated by a write-in candidate. The winner of the seat in November will hold the seat until the end of Mr. Ross’s term, which is Dec. 31, 2013.

Mr. Culkin spoke kindly about his predecessor, who died June 2.

“Frank was an integral part of this community,” Mr. Culkin said. “I’m not there yet. I’m here to listen, here to learn.”

In previous meetings, the council had said it would leave the position vacant, but Supervisor Raymond A. Walker said his opinion on the matter changed after learning Mr. Culkin was the only approved candidate on the ballot. Mr. Walker said he would not have pushed for the appointment if a second candidate for the seat had been approved for the ballot.

Mr. Culkin, 58, County Route 178, said that he has lived in the town part time since 2005, and that his mother was born in the hamlet. He added that the grandfather of his wife, Claudia J. Maurer, had served for several years as town doctor.

Mr. Culkin’s previous work experience includes leadership roles within the state Office of Mental Health and the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Mr. Culkin holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from St. John’s University, Queens.

He said he applied for the position because of his desire to “contribute to the community.”

The Town Council also proposed the quarterly equivalent dwelling unit rate for Water District 2 at $140, an increase of $22.75 from its current price of $117.25. The counting of the district’s EDUs had resulted in months of bickering as the town attempted to counteract a projected shortfall and bolster the district’s financial reserves.

A public hearing to discuss the new price will take place at 7 p.m. Aug. 23, with a special Town Council meeting slated to follow at 7:30 for a potential vote on the price change, along with any other business that comes before the council.

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