Rhinebeck village deputy mayor resigns after move to town

Long-time volunteer Heinz Sauer appointed to fill interim opening

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Rhinebeck Village Deputy Mayor Wayne Rifenburgh is moving out of the village into the town and has submitted his resignation as village trustee effective Aug. 31. Village trustees must be residents of the village.

“[I want to] thank Wayne for his service,” said trustee Terry Gipson in response to the announcement at the Aug. 13 village board meeting. “To me, at least, you’ve been a real rock on this board that we’ve all leaned on from time to time. It’s been a real honor to serve with you. You’re going to be missed big time — I’m really sorry to see you go.”

“The last three-and-a-half years have been an extremely rewarding experience for me,” said Rifenburgh, the emotion clearly coming through in his voice. “The camaraderie on this board and the spirit that has been displayed in regard to making decisions for the best possible result for our community — it’s been, I think, very evident. It’s a testament to the people that are here and our staff that we have in our village: Gail [Haskins the village clerk], our department heads, our volunteer fire service. It’s just been a great experience. Thank you all.”

Rifenburgh leaves with almost seven months left in his term before the elections in March. He has agreed to continue serving as project manager for the police station construction project.

To fill his spot for the interim, Mayor James Reardon appointed long-time volunteer Heinz Sauer, who was unanimously confirmed by the board.

“Heinz has been heavily involved with this board over the last several years,” Reardon said. “I can’t think of a better person actually to transition into the job very quickly.”

Reardon gestured to a large infrastructure map on display at the meeting. “[Sauer has] done a mapping of the entire infrastructure of the village of Rhinebeck… [With] no help from this board, he headed the project up and worked with the department heads of the highway department, the street department, the water department, the waste department.”

Sauer has said he would serve out the rest of Rifenburgh’s term but would not seek election in March. Sauer’s responsibilities will include liaison to the water department.

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