By Rich Place

For Terry Skelton, sitting on the sidelines simply isn’t an option. That’s the reason he’s been on the Springville Village Board for nearly a decade and is seeking re-election to another term this year.

It’s also a driving factor why he serves on the Springville Youth Inc. (SYI) board and has coached youth teams there for over 30 years. And that drive is evident as a past founder and board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Springville.

“There’s something inside me (that says) I can’t sit on the sidelines,” he said. “I’m not one of those people who complain but don’t do anything about it.”

Skelton has worked at Moog in East Aurora for over 37 years, currently serving as an IT manager in its corporate division. He was born in Springville and has lived here most of his life. He and his wife, Lauri, raised three children and have five grandchildren, four of whom reside in the Springville school district.

In 2008, Skelton was appointed to fill a vacancy on the village board from his position on the Village Zoning Board of Appeals.

“I’m very committed, very concerned with our village life,” he said. “My whole being is the community that we create in the village. You can go to other villages and people still don’t know their neighbors, still don’t know what’s going on downtown. Everything that is going on with the community of our village is what makes Springville great.”

As a veteran member of the village board — including previously serving as deputy mayor for six years — Skelton said he’s most proud of seeing the improvement to Springville’s downtown. He attributed much of the success to Mayor Bill Krebs, who is also seeking re-election and running unopposed.

The focus on green space and the village’s walkability has been beneficial for all residents, Skelton said.

“We have an older and a younger population, so we’ve got both ends of the spectrum,” he said. “So we have the walkability where older people can get out and walk where they need to go without having to jump in the car, and the same with the younger families who are walking for exercise or just to get out and get some fresh air.”

Skelton has been impressed with the quality of the village’s sidewalks and new crosswalks, as well as the ongoing work on the Rails to Trails through the village that he said is being used more frequently.

And while he said he’s proud of the downtown business scene, filling the remaining empty storefronts are a priority for him should he be elected to another term.

“We’re trying to create that environment where we want business owners to come in and open businesses in Springville,” he said. “It all comes down to our infrastructure, our low taxes (and) our low electric rates.”

Creating that environment for potential business owners gives them the opportunity to move their establishment to Springville, which leads to more people living and working in the community, Skelton said.

“I would just like to continue that economic growth,” he said, noting the grants the village has recently obtained to help business owners fix up their facades and apartments. “Stuff like that is phenomenal.”

For Skelton, another term on the village board would allow him to continue his devotion to Springville from the political realm and continue to give back to the community.

“Springville is my forever home — I’m a village resident until they plant me up in Maplewood Cemetery,” he quipped. “I’ll run until I’m not able to run anymore and keep trying to improve the village.”