Keith Trudeau, left, looks on and waits to be sworn in by Burke Town Clerk Elizabeth Downing, center, to the Town Board. Downing is shown performing the Oath to Office with soon-to-be Town Clerk Judy Tavernier, right. Tavernier will be officially appointed to her position on April 1. Vin Gallo/Malone Telegram

BURKE — The Town Board on Tuesday approved the appointment of Judy Tavernier to the soon-to-be vacant Town Clerk position and Keith Trudeau to a vacant position on the Town Council.

Both approvals were unanimous. The Town Board last month announced the resignation of Town Clerk Elizabeth Downing and Town Councilman Patrick Downing. Both decided to leave their positions due to personal reasons.

Patrick Downing left the Board, Jan. 1. Elizabeth Downing, leading up to her final day as Town Clerk on March 31, has offered to remain on the job, in order to ensure Tavernier is properly trained.

Upon his appointment to Patrick Downing’s former Town Board position and his Oath to Office, Trudeau immediately joined the council. Trudeau who has lived in town for 25 years, had been a regular attendee at the board’s meetings for about five years. He’s had aspirations to be a part of the board for about four years, he added.

Trudeau was selected by the board over opposing candidate Mary Moore, after a lengthy letter was sent to the board advocating on her behalf for the spot. Following an executive session, the board chose Trudeau.

“There were things we discussed in the executive session that have to remain in executive session,” Town Supervisor William Wood said.

Tavernier was also administered the oath on Tuesday and will fill the Town Clerk seat on April 1, after Elizabeth Downing officially retires from the position.

“Judy’s very qualified, she provided an excellent resume and of all the people we contacted, she’s the one that said yes,” Wood said. “I’m very confident she’s going to do an amazing job.”

Tavernier will receive a half-paid salary until April 1, when it will transition to full pay.

Following the decision, Tavernier said she was “a little nervous” about the new position but added she has done clerical work before and she’s ready to work with Downing. Tavernier recently retired from Franklin Correctional Facility where she worked in inmate grievance.

“The opening came up and I was looking for something part-time,” Tavernier said of the Town Clerk job. “I’d just retired and I was looking for something that wasn’t full-time … it may tie me down more than I thought.”

Both Tavernier and Trudeau will need to run for their positions again in the upcoming November election. If Trudeau wins his seat back on the board it would be for two years. Because the Town Clerk position expires in November, Tavernier would win four years at the position, if elected.

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