GOWANDA: Village loses a strong leader

It is hard to blame former Gowanda Mayor David Smith for stepping down this week from his position. Smith, like many community leaders, is tied up in a number of organizations.

Last weekend, he decided to take a step back.

“This feeling of being overwhelmed has caused me to be less than 100 percent faithful in all of those services,” Smith said. He noted times where he has been short-tempered and quick to respond. Because of that, he said, “I have reevaluated my priorities.”

In the Facebook video, Smith claimed that since he became mayor more than seven years ago, he has worked between 60 to 80 hours each week across all of his areas of passion. He is approaching retirement from his role as an administrator at the Gowanda Central School District and stated a desire to “wind down” over the coming years.

As for the bigger picture, Smith is well qualified to be mayor. In most municipalities for those holding the same office, that is not the case. People almost back into positions of being elected because no one else wants the job.

Moving ahead, who will step up next in the village? Those who already are in full-time mayoral positions in the cities will tell you it’s a lot of work. Those who are part-time, like Smith, note the same sentiment.

Government has become too big — even in small villages and towns – for lax oversight. Finding leaders, like Smith, also is a problem facing numerous entities.


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