Lewiston Town Board hears of departures: Geiben stepping down; Cvijetinovic resigns
√ Previte discusses parking issues
By Terry Duffy
Coming off a week leaders spent in New York City for the Association of Town’s meetings, Monday’s session of the Lewiston Town Board was one of transition. The meeting saw long-time Lewiston Councilman Bill Geiben declare his intentions to not seek reelection in 2023. Then came the sudden resignation of Cathy Cvijetinovic from her position as Lewiston Recreation Department director.
Geiben, a familiar face in town and village affairs since the 1980s, announced his plans to step down from the Town Board effective Dec. 31. The councilman, also a former member of the Lewiston-Porter School District and Village of Lewiston Board, turns 80 years old on Dec. 30.
In his remarks to the board, Geiben said it was time.
“It’s not been a secret that I will not be seeking reelection for a third term as Lewiston councilman,” he said. “This time, I officially announce that I will not be a candidate for reelection. The reason is simple: My public service action tank is almost empty, and I don’t believe that I can do another campaign or serve another term.”
Decades of Service
“I’ve been serving the people of Lewiston for decades. Back in the 1980s, I was appointed to the Lewiston Recreation Commission,” Geiben said. “This gave me the desire and motivation to pursue an elected position as councilman. I served six years, from 1989 to 1994, as councilman and deputy supervisor.
“After not seeking reelection, I was appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals and served as chairman in the early 2000s. I had the opportunity to be a Lewiston Village trustee and, for a short time, mayor. In late-2016, I was encouraged to get involved again and ran for town office. That was the beginning of this last stint of public service to Lewiston.
“I plan to complete my term as councilman, and I will focus on the new Lewiston Park on Lower River Road across from the Senior Center.
“I do acknowledge that I have served with some truly caring and dedicated people. I’m very thankful for having the opportunity to serve with Mayor Richard Soluri and Supervisor Steve Broderick, and many others. It’s been a pleasure working with my fellow board members.
My term as councilman ends Dec. 31. … After 20 years, it’s time. I’ve enjoyed being a councilman. It’s time to not come to meetings at night.
“I just wanted to make it official, because there are other candidates seeking reelection. I wanted to make sure the record was clear.”
Deputy Supervisor William Conrad, who ran Monday’s meeting as Broderick attended online, commented, “Thank you, Mr. Geiben, and thank you for your service to the town.”
Turning to Councilman John Jacoby, he asked, “Can you top that?”
Jacoby, the lone Democrat who serves on the board, thanked Geiben for his service and his professionalism.
“As an opposition party and a minority member, too, (I feel) people like Bill really helped with the transition,” Jacoby said. “Never brought politics into it. If I needed help, he was there to help. I’m sorry to see you go.”
Town Board members Rob Morreale and Jason Myers offered similar sentiments, as both went on to thank the councilman for his years of service to the town.
Search for New Recreation Department Leader
Geiben’s future plans weren’t the only news the board learned that evening.
In his segment, Broderick revealed the town is now looking for a new recreation director.
“I have some unfortunate news; I received this information last week while we were in New York City,” Broderick said as he read a letter from Cvijetinovic. “ ‘Please accept this letter as my formal notice of resignation from my role as director of recreation for the Town of Lewiston. I respectfully announce my two-weeks’ notice ending on March 7. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity you presented me here in Lewiston.
“ ‘It has been a wonderful experience to work alongside the individuals I had the opportunity to collaborate with, to provide programming to the town. I will always appreciate the experience and knowledge gained in my time with the Town of Lewiston. I know transitions are never easy, so please let me know if I can be of any assistance during this transition.’ ”
The board accepted the resignation with regret. Cvijetinovic, a Grand Island resident, began her service with the town following the departure of Mike Dashineau. She is credited with helping steer and expand the town’s wealth of recreational and youth sports offerings for Lewiston residents and neighboring communities.
There was no news to as to her replacement.
Lewiston Police Department News
In other news from the session, Lewiston Police Department Chief Frank Previte said he would be looking into proposing local laws to deal with parking and ATV issues in the town.
“We have two issues, as far as ATVs on the roadways. Also parking violations,” he said. “We have parking violations go unpaid; we turn them over to the town. But they do not suspend anybody’s vehicle (registration) anymore. So I have two (proposals) here.”
One proposal would look at addressing persistent parking scofflaws, while the other would enable the department to better track vehicles and potentially stolen vehicles.
“Right now, when we write a parking ticket for somebody, they tend to disregard (it). It’s not a problem right now, but it could be,” Previte said.
He is forwarding the proposals over to Town Attorney Al Bax for review, and to board members for their input.
The Town Board indicated that, following Bax’s review and board input, pubic hearings would take place before any approvals leading to enactment of a new law.