Lyons Falls trustee takes on mayoral role

LOWVILLE — The deputy mayor of Lyons Falls agreed to step up for the top role when no one else would. She was sworn in on Monday night during a special meeting.

New Mayor Donna M. Dolhof has been a village trustee since 2010 and has served as deputy mayor for the past few years.

The village was left scrambling to solidify its leadership, according to Mrs. Dolhof, after the sudden resignation Jan. 1 of Beau J. Bailey, who was elected mayor in 2020, and the resignation of Trustee Michael Skorupa who did not seek reelection in November but agreed to stay in office to be helpful.

Although Mrs. Dolhof said it hadn’t been her intention to become mayor and that she had reservations, she couldn’t let the post remain open when no other resident expressed interest.

“I’m nervous about it but I’m expecting to ask for lots of help. I’m not sure that I will run again, but I will get us through a year — I haven’t decided,” she said. “I think we’re going to be alright.”

Along with the remaining two trustees, Jeffrey Hoskins and Ronald Dorrity, Mayor Dolhof voted to appoint former village mayor Anne P. Huntress and Michael Bradish, a former councilman in the town of Greig, to the vacant trustee positions after Mrs. Dolhof was sworn into her new position during the meeting.

The new trustees will be sworn into office either during office hours or during the next regularly scheduled board meeting depending on their availability, Mrs. Dolhof said.

Although Mrs. Dolhof said she plans to draw from the extensive experience of the board members to get up to speed in the mayoral position, she already has an idea of what she needs to do in the coming year.

“We have a sewer project going on right now, so we’ll be focusing on that and we have some issues with our DPW (Department of Public Works) and fire department building, so we will be looking at that,” Mrs. Dolhof said. “Those will be our major focuses, I think.”

She will also participate in the committee dedicated to finding the right developers for the former Lyons Falls mill site in the center of the village. The committee, which includes local and county officials, local business leaders and representatives from economic development agencies, is tasked with bringing new life and opportunities to the community.

Her husband, Lawrence L. Dolhof, is the chair of the Lewis County Board of Legislators. Neither anticipate any issues from her change to mayor.

The new mayor plans to hold her office hours during the village office’s open hours between 2 and 5 p.m. on Mondays. The office, 4059 Cherry St., is also open from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursdays.

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