Above: Georgianna Lepke of Neversink passes the CWC gavel to Michael Triolo of Stamford. Photo courtesy of the Catskill Watershed Corporation.
The board of the Catskill Watershed Corporation, a nonprofit governed mostly by elected officials from the New York City watershed region, voted Stamford town supervisor Michael Triolo as its new president at the board's regular meeting on Tuesday, October 1.
Triolo takes over from longtime CWC president Georgianna Lepke, town council member and former supervisor of the town of Neversink. Lepke has sold her Neversink home and is moving to Florida, according to a statement released by the CWC.
In the statement, Triolo praised Lepke's leadership.
"I will have to fill some huge shoes. If I can do half the job Georgie’s done, I’ll be happy," Triolo said. "And if at any point I lose sight of the fact that this is a regional organization, representing and helping people in Delaware, Sullivan, Schoharie, Greene and Ulster Counties, you let me know."
Triolo was the CWC's economic development director from 2003 to the beginning of 2012. In April of 2012, he was elected to the CWC board, replacing former Delaware County representative Len Utter.
Lepke has been a member of the CWC board since its formation in 1997 under the Memorandum of Agreement, the complex pact that governs land use and city-imposed regulations in New York City's vast upstate watershed. Under the agreement, New York City must provide ongoing funding for economic development and wastewater projects in the watershed region, which are carried out by the CWC. The organization also played a role in helping flood-damaged local businesses get back on their feet after the 2011 Irene and Lee floods, with a $5 million grant program that provided the first financial help many small businesses got after the storms.
Triolo's election was unanimous. In the CWC's statement, several members said he was a good choice for the job.
"Mike has the respect and admiration of everyone," said Rich Parete, an Ulster County legislator and CWC board member.
Hamden supervisor Wayne Marshfield, also a CWC board member, echoed the sentiment. "Mike’s the most experienced of anyone on this Board, he knows the programs inside and out, and is a good fit for the organization," Marshfield said.
Lepke's current term on the Neversink town council runs through the end of the year. If she steps down before then, the town board may appoint someone to serve out her term.