An old hand returns to help the council

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    Sparta-Former Sparta Manager Bill Curcio has come out of retirement, and will once again serve as a government official for the township. Curcio, who was township manager from 1974 to 1978, will now serve as a temporary council member replacing Michael McKenna who stepped down last month. Curcio will fill the position until a special election is held in November. According to Sparta Mayor Scott Seelagy, the council saw it necessary because of pending matters to have a full governing body and not wait until the November election. "First of all, as a council, we had to make a decision about whether or not we wanted to do this," said Seelagy referring to decision to fill the post on a temporary basis. "We found it important to have a full council." Seelagy said the biggest reason to have a full council was that a capital ordinance to fund an expansion of the water system could come up for vote before November. The Sparta Water Utility is considering the need to provide municipal water to homes in the Seneca Lake section. By law, a minimum of four council members are needed to approve a capital expense. Without the addition of a temporary member, the Sparta council would not have room for an absence, sickness, or vacation from a council member. According to officials, the council considered offering the post to one of the five people who has expressed intentions to run in the November election. However, some members believed that situation would create an appearance of favoritism. After deciding not to go that route, the council decided to look to the past for assistance. "We looked for someone with significant knowledge and that had lived in Sparta for a long time," said Seelagy, adding that Curcio's knowledge of the town will allow him to hit the ground running in his new position. "It wasn't like he would have a significant learning curve," said Seelagy. "Bill was willing to do it, and we thought that he was a really good choice for the position." At a special meeting last Wednesday night, the council officially appointed Curcio to fill the post. His term will expire when a new elected member is sworn in immediately following the November election. The new member will fill McKenna's unexpired term, which runs until June 30, 2006.