Robusto appointed Ontario Town Supervisor
During Monday night’s Ontario Town Board meeting, a motion to name Frank Robusto as Interim Town Supervisor passed the board unanimously.
Under New York State Town Law, the board is required to appoint someone to serve for the calendar year, following a vacancy. The vacancy was created when elected Town Supervisor Joe Molino turned in his resignation on January 4th, just 3 days into his term.
An election will be held in November for residents to vote for a candidate who will then serve one year (to fill the remaining time of the existing two year term)
Following his acceptance of the position, Frank told the packed room:
“I appreciate the support of my board members and look forward to respecting the opinion of all residents moving forward – and will work with the vision in mind to unify us for the future of Ontario.”
Earlier in the meeting, ahead of public comment, Frank addressed the resignation of Joe Molino.
“I assume many of you are here because of the unexpected resignation of Joe Molino – and what the board should do moving forward. As a board we were looking forward to working with him. There are rumors circulating that there was negativity facing Joe…and, in my experience working with him, that was simply not true. I know myself and the board members sitting next to me respect Joe as a businessman and as a person.”
“Many people want to speculate on why he left – it shocked us, as well. I cannot put words into his mouth and know you all want an answer….for now we can only go by what Joe said in his resignation as citing extenuating circumstances. This is the only information I’ve received on the matter, and if I knew more, I would tell you.” Robusto concluded.
Molino resignation letter, received by the Town Clerk, read:
“It is with much regret that I am submitting my letter of resignation from the position of Ontario Town Supervisor immediately. It is perhaps the most difficult decision of my life. It has been a great honor to be elected by the voters and I am grateful for the support and encouragement I have received. However, extenuating circumstance necessitate this decision. Again, many thanks. Sincerely, Joe Molino”
After submitting the letter he did not attend the emergency meeting the Board had called for Friday at 5pm.
Board member Rick Leszyk noted that while the names of both former supervisors John Smith and Bob Kelsch had been openly debated at the January 5th meeting, and some came forward on Monday to discuss the board appointing either one – in the end, the board chose who they felt was the unanimous choice – Frank Robusto.”
Frank resigned his Town Council seat on Tuesday, and was to be sworn in the same day. He will take over the duties of Supervisor at the Town and County levels, until the November election. Robusto, age 62, has been on the Town Board for 8 years and was just re-elected in November. He has over 40 years in the business world, currently a Realtor and Sales Manager at Howard Hanna Real Estate Agency in Ontario.
During Frank’s campaign last year, he told voters, “I believe that Town matters need to be looked at from a business point of view, not an emotional one nor on just a personal level of likes and dislikes. Being experienced in running a business I apply the lessons learned over the many years of balancing facts and budgets to assure the smooth running and future profitability of the Town of Ontario. My voting and discussions center only on the facts of what we are accomplishing or what we will save the taxpayers. We need this balance and approach on a sound Town Board.”
The Board will now go through the process of appointing a board member to fill Frank’s former position. The next meeting will be Tuesday, January 16th, due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.
“It will be important to have someone in the board seat, who can fit right in. I think that person should be Jason Ruffell, who had served 12 years on the board. He has the wisdom and experience to give the board stability. I will be encouraging that choice,” said Leszyk. “The Republican Committees in Ontario and in Wayne County have been split as of late, and something needs to be done. I hope we can all come together,” he added.