In his final hours as mayor, David Taylor looked relaxed.
We found him at city hall Wednesday, his office cleared of personal effects, his phone quiet, his smile big.
“I feel like the Maytag Man,” he laughed. “Nothing to do.”
Calling it “a boring day,” Taylor made himself busy penning little reminders for his successor, mayor-elect Mark Costilow, going over last-minute details of budgets and engineering plans, chatting with new city cable director Jeff Platz, and getting ready to hand in his keys.
His very last official act as mayor was to swear in two new part-time officers in a ceremony at the Amherst police station. He administered oaths to Jeffry Zemanek and Edward Gawlik.
After three terms and 12 years in the mayor’s seat, Taylor said he is ready for a new chapter. When he first took the job, he’d just ended a 37-year career for Nelson Stud Welding/TRW.
“I went right from TRW to the mayor’s office,” he said. “I never got to find out what retirement was like.”
Now he plans to rectify that, spending more time with his wife, Diane, but hilariously promising to “stay out of her way. “We have a big house. I’ll find a way to give her space,” he joked.
In typical Taylor fashion, he made sure to shine a spotlight on those who “made the job easy,” including council president John Dietrich, with whom the Republican mayor worked across the aisle closely.
Costilow earned the bulk of the mayor’s praise. As safety-service director, Costilow has been groomed for four years to step seamlessly into the mayor’s office, he said.
But Taylor also praised Amherst auditor David Kukucka, Costilow’s Democratic opponent in the mayoral race this fall. Though Kukucka lost the election in a big split, Taylor said he is invaluable to the operation of the city.
“This city is very fortunate to have both of them,” he said of Costilow and Kukucka.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times “If I drop dead tomorrow, I have no regrets,” outbound mayor David Taylor said on his final day in office.