As HV1 previously reported, at the October 4 Gardiner Town Board meeting, Town clerk Michelle Mosher announced that she would not run for reelection when her current term ends. The reason she gave for the decision was that she felt unappreciated and “unworthy” after her request for an 8.7 percent salary increase was denied. The 2023 Town budget adopted in November included raises of five percent for all non-union full-time employees, but Mosher pointed out that such an increase would not bring her pay scale level with other, much more recent hires.
Mosher has held the post of Town clerk for nearly 28 years, having been appointed to it by then-supervisor Vivian McCord in 1994 after serving for two years as secretary to previous supervisor Mike Moran. In 1995 she was elected Town clerk for the first time, and has served continuously in that post thereafter, under six administrations. Although a registered Republican, she was frequently cross-endorsed by the Gardiner Democrats. Town residents showed their satisfaction with her service by never mounting any serious challenges to her candidacy for more than a quarter of a century.
Fast-forward two months to the December 13 Town Board meeting, and Mosher’s colleagues had a surprise in store for her. The fact that all five of the surviving supervisors under whom she had served were present in the audience at Town Hall might have alerted her that something was up: Joe Katz, Jack Hayes, Carl Zatz, Laura Walls and Marybeth Majestic. In any case, when discussions of the evening’s main agenda items were concluded, deputy supervisor Walls arose to read a resolution citing Mosher’s contributions during her long career of municipal service, praising her as “Gardiner longest-serving public official in the modern era” who “supported stability and consistency” in Town government regardless of which party was in power at any given time.
Whatever dissatisfaction Mosher might have been feeling about her niche in the pay hierarchy of Gardiner government, she was visibly moved by this belated testimonial, dabbing at the corners of her eyes with increasing frequency as Walls listed the veteran official’s contributions to the Town. But she had to take her glasses all the way off when the final revelation was made: Noting that Mosher had “spent the most time ever in this meeting room,” Walls proposed that the space henceforward “shall be named the Michelle L. Mosher Meeting Room.”
Needless to say, the resolution passed unanimously, and all present burst into applause as Supervisor Majestic unveiled the plaque that will be hung in the room identifying it by name. A teary-eyed Mosher managed to choke out the words, “Thank you very much, everyone – I don’t know what to say,” and her daughter Aimee, joining in via Zoom, burst out, “Go Mama!”
The meeting then was adjourned, with attendees invited to partake of cake and congratulations in an adjoining room.