Town of Lewiston Supervisor Dennis Brochey announced Tuesday he would not seek re-election this November. He and his wife have decided to spend more time with family.
"This is a difficult decision," Brochey said. " But my wife, Cathy, and I decided there is no easy time to retire and leave the community we love. We purchased a home in Las Vegas a few months ago so we could visit our daughter and grandchildren more often. But as many of you will understand, it is hard to leave them. Our decision is simply personal - we want to be with each other all the time."
Brochey took office when the town government was under concurrent federal and state investigations over purchasing practices and the use of town property and equipment. The town's fiscal condition also was fragile.
"I'm proud of what I was able to do to clean up those problems and set up policies and procedures to make town government more accountable," Brochey said. "You must be vigilant and not become lax in protecting the taxpayers' money, and that is something I always look to do and want to be sure happens in the future."
Brochey thanked former Deputy Town Supervisor Sean Edwards for his service and praised current Deputy Supervisor Mark Briglio for his work.
Briglio will seek to replace Brochey this fall.
"Mark is a natural," Brochey said. "He has the strong management background, technical and people skills needed in the supervisor's office. In only a few months, he has shown an understanding of the issues we face, and commitment to do the job. I've urged him to run for the office, because I see in him the commitment and vision to lead Lewiston in the years to come."
Brochey said he regrets the "blind partisanship" he's often faced on the Town Board. He sees a need for elected leaders to be more open to consensus for the good of the community as a whole.
"I've tried to make decisions based on what the facts are and what the citizens are interested in, and not someone's political affiliation," Brochey said. "That's how we get good government. I see that same belief in Mark Briglio, and will put my full energy behind him to run as my successor."
Briglio is seeking the Democratic and Republican lines.
"I am very much a nonpartisan candidate," he said. "We have had entirely too much blind partisanship in Lewiston, and I've seen firsthand how counterproductive that is. I am running to represent everyone."
Though officially a Republican, Briglio filed papers with the Board of Elections late last year to re-affiliate as a Democrat effective in 2016.
"I did that mostly based on national issues," Briglio said. "The Republican Party, at that level, has drifted far away from the needs of working-class people and has become the party of the super-rich."
Brochey worked to save the historic Frontier House and cut unnecessary town spending. He said he expects environmental concerns to be a major issue for Lewiston for years to come.
"We must err on the side of caution and prudence and not let the state and federal governments use Lewiston as a convenient dumping ground for other areas simply because we have facilities here," Brochey said.
Ultimately, "I know my wife and I are going to miss Lewiston and the wonderful people here," Brochey said. "I do think the future is bright for our community, and we intend to visit often - especially in the summer months."