By David Yarger
There’s a lot of familiar faces around the Town of Wheatfield that people know of and see from time to time. One of those faces is Richard Muscatello.
Monday night, at the Town of Wheatfield Town Board meeting, Supervisor Don MacSwan issued a proclamation to Muscatello for all his years of service to the municipality.
The proclamation read, “Whereas Richard Muscatello has served the Town of Wheatfield as the founder of the Comprehensive Planning Implementation Task Force over 15 years with dedication and distinction.
“And whereas the years have been marked by exceptional service to the town, the volunteers who have served on the committee, and the residents in the Town of Wheatfield.
“Whereas Richard Muscatello has led numerous improvements in the areas of planning, including procedures, practices, town codes and zoning.
“And whereas the people of the Town of Wheatfield wish to extend our deep appreciation to Richard Muscatello for his years of volunteer service, leadership and devotion of the Comprehensive Task Force by serving as founder, facilitator and chairman.
“Therefore, on behalf of the Town of Wheatfield Town Board, the residents of Wheatfield, this 20th day of May, we recognize Richard Muscatello for his many years of dedication and service to the Town of Wheatfield.”
Following an emotional embrace between Muscatello and MacSwan, Muscatello received a near 15-second standing ovation for the board meeting audience.
MacSwan added a personal speech regarding Muscatello, as the two have known each other for many years.
“I consider him a close and dear friend,” MacSwan said. “Richard has been close through good times and sad. … I do recognize his accomplishments in the town and the efforts he has made through numerous (focus groups). I remember my days on the Planning Board with Richard. He would always give 100% on every project that came before them – no stone unturned. I can assure you, when a project was approved, there was not one thing that was overlooked. Even as supervisor, I turn to him for advice. We have lunch every two weeks and solve the problems of the world. … Richard, you’re a true friend and a most valuable asset to the Town of Wheatfield, and Wheatfield is a better place because of your tireless work and leadership through the years.”
Muscatello extended his thanks to the current Town Board, as well as the board’s predecessors for allowing him to bring the Comprehensive Plan Task Force to life in the Town of Wheatfield.
“I think throughout the years, we came up with 92 significant improvements as a result of our 20 something years of existence,” Muscatello said. “Of course, the leader is only as good as the people who are supportive of it. All of you who are here from the Task Force and the focus groups, I look at you and thank you.”
Muscatello then, with a laugh, told the group members that he’s sure they know how to do a SWOT analysis, because “we did enough of those.”
To conclude, the board and Muscatello posed for a group photo with the proclamation.