Village of Marathon Presents ARPA Project to Cortland County; Village Mayor to Resign

Article written by Kevin L. Smith & Eddie Velazquez.

(Village of Marathon).

Long-time village of Marathon mayor Bill McGovern will present his resignation to the village’s board of trustees, effective Oct. 31.

(Village of Marathon Mayor Bill McGovern).

McGovern announced his resignation at Monday’s Cortland County Federal Aid Allocation Citizen’s Advisory Committee meeting, citing an unforeseen move away from the village due to personal reasons. In a phone conversation with the Cortland Voice Tuesday afternoon, he realized he had to resign back in September.

McGovern added on Tuesday he has been in the market to purchase a new home in the village, but he wasn’t successful. However, he may consider buying a home in the town of Marathon.

“Due to changes in my personal life, I am planning and relocating and moving, meaning that I will no longer be a village resident,” McGovern said.

McGovern and village deputy mayor Scott Chamberlin presented a request for $250,000 in federal funding from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act allocation to help restore the siding of the village’s old civic center building. 

McGovern said the village’s board of trustees plans to potentially elevate Chamberlin to the role of Marathon’s next mayor in early November. McGovern said that the vacant trustee seat left by Chamberlin would be contested in a special election to be held in the near future.

“It’s not bad to turn the reins over to a new person every once in a while. (It’s a) new way of thinking and certainly get different things done,” he said. “I am leaving the board in good hands. We have some very good, skilled, and intelligent people who are serving the community.”

McGovern said the board of trustees supports the decision of Chamberlin possibly becoming the new village mayor.

“He’s been very active and understanding of what’s going on,” McGovern said of Chamberlin on Tuesday. “He’s setting his own agenda.”

Over the last 21 years of service, McGovern said he has learned a lot while serving on the village’s board of trustees and as mayor.

“It was enjoyable being here as mayor. I have more than 21 years of service on the boards, and I have been able to do, learn and experience a lot,” he said.

McGovern, a longtime Republican, was first elected mayor in 2015 when he defeated then-incumbent Democrat John Pitman by garnering 80 of the 154 total votes (according to records from the Cortland County Board of Elections). He then ran unopposed in 2017 and 2019.

County Legislature Chair Paul Heider (R-LD 16) thanked McGovern for his tenure as an elected official.

“Thank you for that mayor, we appreciate it,” Heider said.

Once his personal matters are settled and he’s in a new home, McGovern said that he may consider running for office again.

For now, it’s “business as usual” until McGovern steps down as the village mayor at the end of the month.

“I appreciate the fact the community had the faith to keep me in office,” he said. “It’s a great respect I will honor forever.”

As for the $250,000 requested by the village, McGovern said it would be put towards replacing siding on the civic center building that has been there since it was built over 40 years ago.

“The building is old. It needs a lot of work,” he added. “Hopefully (the county) sees fit to help the village.”

McGovern noted that the civic center building not only brings in village residents, but patrons from in and out of the county.

“They use it for the Maple Festival, weddings and birthday parties,” he said. “Hopefully this presentation convinces the committee.”