Ellsworth to serve as mayor until March

NORTHVILLE – Village Deputy Mayor Debra Ellsworth will fill in for former Mayor James Groff until the March elections, according to Ellsworth.

Ellsworth, who stepped in as the village mayor this week, will only be holding the position temporarily, and will not seek to run in the March elections.

“I’m comfortable with my trustee position,” Ellsworth said.

Between family and other responsibilities, Ellsworth said she would not have the time to dedicate herself fully as a mayor. Ellsworth’s main goal would be to keep the village running.

“Pretty much it is just keeping things going until the new mayor steps in,” Ellsworth said.

According to Ellsworth, John Spaeth, a Democrat, is running unopposed for March’s election.

Ellsworth said in the next few months she is expecting the board of trustees to write up plans for repairs to the spillway inside the village, as well as prepare the 2014 budget.

According to Northville Village Attorney Carmel Greco, a person may not hold the positions of mayor of a village and supervisor of a town simultaneously.

Groff, who defeated incumbent Linda Kemper in November’s election for Northampton town supervisor, stepped down from the village mayor’s position on Dec. 31. He now serves as town supervisor.

The Republican-Conservative candidate received 468 votes, while independent Kemper received 351 votes, according to the Fulton County Board of Elections.

Groff, who lives at 163 W. Prospect St., had served as village mayor since 1994 and has been on the village board since 1977.

Over the years, he also has served as a volunteer firefighter and as an officer with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department.

Groff was unavailable for comment.