Planning Board member Jan Corning’s recent departure left the town with rather large shoes to fill.
Although the town says it has not yet received a formal letter of resignation, Corning confirmed Monday that her last board meeting was Wednesday, Dec. 12.
She was in her fifth year of a seven-year term that ends in 2021.
Corning said she and her husband, James, are moving out of Somers, their home for close to 30 years.
Corning’s background in construction management came in handy for sussing out the nuances of development, said Supervisor Rick Morrissey at the Town Board’s Dec. 6 work session.
Councilmen noted that Corning was a “core member” of the Planning Board and would be missed.
The Cornings are active in the local Lion’s Club and are congregants of the Church of the Good Shepherd in the hamlet of Granite Springs.
Somers was undergoing a significant amount of growth around the time Corning decided to seek a seat on the Planning Board where she thought her skill set would prove useful.
“I wanted to maintain and protect the Somers that I knew,” she explained.
Not that growth is a bad thing, she said, adding that developers are “local people, too, and they see needs which can be filled.”
Corning, who will miss the folks she has worked with over the years, said she was “constantly amazed at the intelligence and foresight” of everyone involved from the planning to the building stages.
She said she is sad to be leaving the board just as a proposal to convert the old IBM site into a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) academy is being weighed.
She did have the chance to give some feedback during the proposed project’s early stages.
The school would be, she said, “a wonderful addition” to the town and, in her opinion, “couldn’t be a better use for that property.”
If Corning had any words of advice for whoever takes her place on the board, they are: “listen” and “think.”
“When it really comes down to it: Listen to what people are saying.”
The folks that run and advise the town, and the developers themselves, are all great sources of knowledge and experience, she said.
“Also, think. Just because someone doesn’t think the way you do means you’re wrong. Speak your mind.”