SAVOY -- Officials are looking forward to ending a difficult stretch of understaffed town government, now that a special town election is slated for Aug. 8 to fill two vacancies on the Select Board.
The election was necessitated by the unexpected resignations of Selectmen Scott Koczela and David Desmarais -- two of the town's three members on the Board -- back in May.
Ballot candidates are former Selectman and town board regular Alan Carlow and newcomer Bernard Malloy. Voting will be held from noon to 8 p.m. at Town Hall on Main Road. Registered voters need not re-register.
Town Clerk Brenda Smith spoke of the recent atmosphere at Town Hall since the resignations in a Tuesday interview.
"It's been surprising, but everything is running and everyone is getting the job done," Smith said Tuesday. "It's gone pretty smoothly, without any really big issues that couldn't be handled. But August 8th can't come soon enough."
Smith said the cost of organizing and running the special election is over $1,000.
Koczela and Desmarais attributed their resignations to an unannounced write-in campaign that ended up defeating incumbent Selectman Fred Sawyer during the annual town election on May 17.
John Tynan, the write-in candidate and a former Selectman himself, accepted the position, but was then surprised by the pair's resignations at the close of a May 22 meeting, the first regular meeting held after the election.
According to Tynan, organizing the special election entailed coordinating with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and that it was done "in pretty much the shortest period of time possible."
"We've been very limited, strictly to running the business of the town that has to be done," Tynan said. "There isn't any rule book given to you on how to handle a situation like this."
However, town employees have kept many irons in the fire, working with state representatives on a developing repair project for the Tropical Storm Irene-damaged Black Brook Road, town finances and other issues, and recently received over $8,000 in federal compensation for last Oct ober's snow storm.
"Everything looks like it's in pretty good shape at this point," Tynan said. "A lot of people have chipped in and took up some of the slack here and there."
Due to these efforts, Tynan said many town issues will be in place for motion from the board once it is back to full strength.
On the other hand, Tynan pointed out that the town will "still be feeling effects down the road" due to this period of low strength in its offices.
"It's difficult when a board leaves -- everything kind of leaves with them, other than what was written down. But you lose something. Less than a month from now, we'll have a lot on our plate."