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Heritage Hills President is New Somers Town Councilman

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Somers Councilman Richard Benedict
Somers Councilman Richard Benedict

The president of Heritage Hills has been chosen to be a temporary member of the Somers Town Board.

On May 17, Richard Benedict took his council seat for his first regular town board meeting. He was appointed on May 3 and his term will end on Dec. 31.

Following the May 17 meeting, Benedict said he wanted to serve on the board “to see if I could be of use to the town.”

Benedict has been serving as Heritage Hills president for the past five years and previously was its treasurer.

Benedict is replacing  Harry Bolton, who resigned his seat in March due to health problems.Boltonsaid he had a virus that attached his heart muscle.

“I am on a lot of medicines but my blood pressure is not going down,” he said. “Being on the town board is too stressful.”

Bolton’s four-year term is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2013 and an election to determine who will serve the final year of his term will be held on Election Day in November.

When asked if he was interested in running for the town board this fall, Benedict said “absolutely not.”

During his short time on the town board, Benedict said he would do whatever he could to help his colleagues to do “a very difficult job.”

Benedict’s first vote was to join the rest of his town board colleagues on May 17 to transfer the duties from the Conservation Board to the Open Space Committee.

The 2012 budget eliminated the Conservation Board as a cost-cutting measure.

During the meeting, Councilman Richard Clinchy said he wanted to encourage former Conservation Board members to serve on the Open Space Committee.

“They should contact me,” Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy said.

Others echoed her sentiments.

“I don’t want to lose them,” Councilman Rick Morrissey said, referring to members of the now-defunct Conservation Board.

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