Woodstock Deputy Supervisor Earls chosen to fill Wenk’s seat

Reggie Earls (photo by Dion Ogust)

The Woodstock Town Board appointed Deputy Supervisor Reggie Earls to fill the seat vacated by Jay Wenk’s passing, delved further into short-term rentals and heard a pitch for a town takeover of the library.

“I appreciate the Town Board considering me and deciding to make me town Councilman with voting power,” Earls said after the June 19 business meeting. “It’s exciting to continue serving the town.”

His appointment as councilman will last the end of the year and the seat will be on the ballot in a special election in November. He will still hold the deputy supervisor post for now.


Supervisor Bill McKenna appointed Earls deputy supervisor in January. In that role, Earls was up to speed on the town issues and was prepared to run Town Board meetings should McKenna be unable to perform his duties. The deputy supervisor sits at the table during meetings and can provide input but is not a voting member of the board. The deputy supervisor position can be used as a stepping stone for those exploring opportunities in town government.

Wenk’s Town Board seat would have been up for a vote in November 2019, so the special election in November will only fill the seat for one year. Earls says he is running, so expect to see him around town gathering signatures for a ballot petition. Voters will then decide on a candidate in 2019 to fill the seat’s four-year term.

Earls was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and moved to Woodstock after college about 12 years ago. He works with many organizations including Mental Health Association of Ulster County, Angel Food East and Family of Woodstock. He is choir director and organist at the Dutch Reformed Church.

Readers may have also seen Earls perform with Mambo Kikongo, Lindsey Webster or as Reggie Earls and the Hudson River Pearls.