By Anne Hayden
GUILDERLAND — For the first time in a dozen years, the town’s Republican Party will run a full ticket in the fall election.
That will include a candidate for the position of town clerk — Rosemary Centi, the first Democratic clerk in the history of Guilderland — is retiring after 13 years. She ran unopposed in the past six elections.
“We are absolutely planning to run someone as clerk,” said Matthew Nelligan, the chairman of the Guilderland Republican Party. “There is no question about it.” He declined to name any of the GOP candidates.
Centi ran in a special election in 2000, to fill out the term of the prior clerk, Kathy Sickler. Sickler, a Republican, quit after claiming that the Democratic supervisor, Kenneth Runion, and the all-Democratic town board, were conspiring to edge her out, by taking some of her responsibilities and delegating them to other Democratic employees.
Centi served as town clerk in a Democrat-controlled town for eight years, before two Republicans — Mark Grimm and Warren Redlich — ousted two incumbent candidates for seats on the town board in 2008.
When the Republican victories were declared in 2008, on Election Night, Centi cried, and said that Grimm’s campaign had been “a little bit of truth, wrapped around a lie.” Grimm, who did not run for re-election to the board in 2012, recently announced his candidacy for town supervisor for 2014.
“Nothing in particular sparked my decision to retire,” said Centi this week, though she said she wants to be able to spend more time with her grandson.
“I just felt it was time,” said Centi, who will turn 60 this year. “That’s what I told our committee — it just felt right.”
Centi described the town clerk as “the hub of a wheel” and said that nearly everything in the town comes and goes through the clerk’s office.
“I think my biggest accomplishment is that I’ve carried myself with dignity and represented the people of Guilderland the way this office should represent them,” said Centi.
Her favorite parts of the job, she said, have been the everyday meet-and-greets with members of the community, as well as the group of women with which she has worked.