Town of Ulster Councilman Eric Kitchen last week announced he will step down from his role when his term ends later this year to spend more time with family.
“I just wanted to say it’s been my privilege for the last 16 years to serve as your councilman,” said Kitchen during a late-February meeting of the Town Board. “I will not be seeking another term at this point in time; I will be taking a step back, I don’t know if it’ll be permanent or temporary, from public service.”
Kitchen joined the Town Board for his first of four four-year terms in 2008, joining the late Joel Brink as the then-sole Republicans in the council. Democrats David Brink and Rocco Secreto — the latter still a councilman, but now the sole representative of his party — were also on the board at that time. Current supervisor James E. Quigley, III unseated Democrat Nick Woerner in late 2009 and the Ulster Town Board has held a Republican majority ever since.
Kitchen, who in the past has served as deputy supervisor, said the time was right for him to move on from the Town Board.
“My daughter was three years old when I first ran, and she’s now 19,” he said. “I have a granddaughter now from a son who was ten years old when I first ran. I have a five-year-old granddaughter that I’ve been spending a lot of extra time with.”
Kitchen added that the decision came following long talks with his family.
“My wife especially reminds me that I have three jobs and how can I keep continuing to do what I’m doing?” he said.
Though he made his announcement with ten months remaining on his term, Kitchen stressed that he remains committed to his role as councilman until then.
“I will be here to the end of the year to fill out my term, but I just think at this point in time I’m going to take a well deserved break and start doing some other things that I have been putting aside for awhile, and one thing is spending more time with my family. So I just want to thank everybody for their support over the years and it’s been my pleasure to serve you and thank you very much.”
Quigley thanked Kitchen for his service to the Town of Ulster.
“I look forward to him to continuing his service through the end of this year, the end of his term,” Quigley said.