B y Matthew Saari
Whitehall Town Supervisor George Armstrong said Monday he will not seek reelection this fall.
Armstrong, who has served in the job for six years, cited “health concerns” as his reason to step down.
“It’s a community that I’ve grown to love and appreciate,” he said. “I’m leaving with a very positive attitude.”
During Armstrong’s tenure, the town implemented many initiatives, such as cleaning up Riverside Park, renovating the recreation center and building a new highway garage, all while staying under the tax cap.
“ We’ve been able to do all these things while staying under the tax cap…It’s all about the people,” he said. “We have an excellent town clerk, rec director, highway superintendent and assessor…The biggest thing is we moved into the new municipal center. We’re the only town in the county that has a municipal center; the police, court, village office, common meeting room and town office all in one beautiful, brick, handicapped-accessible building.”
The municipal center had been the Skenesborough firehouse, and the floor plan had to be reconfigured. Armstrong cited the cooperation of Mayor Ken Bartholomew.
“It’s been enjoyable working with the village,” he said. “The mayor, Ken Bartholomew, has been a great help to me in laying out the building.”
Before running for supervisor, Armstrong served 11 years on the Board of Education, two as the president of the board. Armstrong also served on the town board for four years.
Originally from Hudson Falls, Armstrong married his wife Diane, a native Whitehaller, and they moved to Whitehall 40 years ago. Armstrong attended Bethany-Nazarene College in Bethany, Oklahoma, where he majored in philosophy and minored in history. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1968. One month later he was working for General Electric at the Fort Edward plant.
Armstrong retired from G.E. in 1997, after 29 years.
Armstrong and his wife have four children, two boys and two girls, and 10 grandchildren.
In addition to his public service, Armstrong has been a vegetable farmer. He recently sold his home outside the village and purchased a home within the village limits. He said he intends to take more time to enjoy his three favorite hobbies: fishing, hunting and playing golf.
Although Armstrong said he has many fond memories, he said there are significant challenges facing community leaders in the future.
“The village really needs to take a look at how they can do things differently,” he said. “How the essential services can be provided at a reduced price…It’s not an easy job.”
Armstrong’s third and final term as supervisor ends Dec. 12.