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William G. Cansdale Jr. resigned Monday night as Lancaster's mayor to accept an appointment as the village's superintendent of public works.
Cansdale, who will earn $70,000 per year in the full-time post, earned the highest score among the candidates who took the Civil Service exam to fill the vacant position, according to paperwork from the Erie County Personnel Department provided to The Buffalo News.
Cansdale had served as the village's part-time mayor since 1993 and earned $12,900 annually, plus $5,900 for serving as budget director. He said Monday that the superintendent's position was an unexpected opportunity that allows him to continue working for Lancaster's residents.
"I have loved serving this community for the past 20 years. There hasn't been a day that went by that I took this for granted or didn't appreciate the trust that the community placed in me," Cansdale said before receiving a standing ovation from the audience at Monday's Village Board meeting.
Cansdale replaces retired DPW Superintendent Richard C. Bulman.
The trustees appointed Deputy Mayor Paul M. Maute to fill the remainder of Cansdale's mayoral term, which runs through March. They now must decide whether to appoint someone to fill the vacant trustee's position on the Village Board or wait for it to be filled in the March election.
Cansdale, 55, said in an interview that he is retiring after 35 years from his job as fleet area supervisor for New York State Electric & Gas, giving him the time to take on the full-time duties of leading the village's 25-member Department of Public Works. His appointment is effective Oct. 1, though Cansdale told The News he likely will work part-time for the DPW for one month while he wraps up projects for NYSEG.
The appointment was not listed on the printed agenda for Monday's Village Board meeting. Cansdale said afterward that the resolution wasn't added to the agenda ahead of time because trustees and village officials were working out the legal issues up until the last minute.
Cansdale first won election to a Village Board seat in 1991. A longtime registered Democrat, in 2003 he switched to the Republican Party and unsuccessfully ran for Lancaster town supervisor against incumbent Robert H. Giza.
During his long tenure as mayor, the village merged its police department with the Town of Lancaster's police force, downsized the Village Board from seven to five members and tackled issues ranging from flooding to rats.
"You've been a great leader," said Maute, who joined fellow trustees Edward M. Marki, William C. Schroeder and Kenneth L. O'Brien III in praising Cansdale's dedicated service to the village.
email: swatson@buffnews.com