After three years as chairman of the village of Liverpool Zoning Board of Appeals, Richard "Ace" Ward will step down as of June 30.
Ward is the husband of Mayor Marlene Ward who -- after four terms as mayor and seven years as a trustee -- will also leave village government one week later, on July 6. The Wards are Republicans.
"We're going to do our own life now," said Richard Ward, who served as supervisor in the town of Salina in 1992 and '93.
At the village board's June 15 meeting, Mayor Ward appointed Dr. Michael Romano as the new chairman of the ZBA.
The village zoning board rules on requests from property owners seeing area variances, use variances and interpretation of the zoning ordinances. At the June 29 meeting, for instance, the ZBA is scheduled to discuss a homeowner's proposal to build a deck on property located at Fourth and Balsam streets. That will be the final meeting chaired by Ward.
State law requires a ZBA in every municipality.
Presently the five-member village ZBA includes Ward as chairman and members Pam Carey, Dave DeRosier, Ron Hergesal and Mike Romano. Former chairman Ben Lees is an alternate member.
In his letter of resignation submitted to the village board on May 14, Richard Ward thanked all branches of village government for their cooperation.
"I am leaving the board confident in the ability and dedication of the present members," he wrote. "Their experience will enable the mayor to have a smooth transition as a new chairman is appointed."
Romano, a dentist who lives across the street from the Village Hall on Sycamore Street, said he's interested in the chairmanship if offered. He has occasionally chaired ZBA meetings in Ward's absence.
"Mike would be outstanding," Richard Ward said. "He has the courage to say 'no,' which not everyone has. It's hard. I mean we all live in this village, and we know everybody."
An active participant in the development of the Village Comprehensive Plan, Romano said that planning process "gave me an idea of what village is trying to accomplish." As ZBA chairman, he said, he'll have the ability to assure that rulings "stay consistent" with long-term village goals.