July 17, 2013 - For the second time this year, the Oxford Village Council will be tasked with filling an empty seat.
Last week, village President Tony Albensi announced his plans to resign from council because he and his family are moving out of Oxford.
"There's really not much to say," he told this reporter. "I just wanted to give council a heads up that I'll be submitting a formal letter at the appropriate time."
Albensi is "not sure" exactly when his departure from council will occur.
"It may be as soon as the end of August," he said. "Once I know more details and it's locked in, I'll submit an official letter at that point."
Until that happens, Albensi said he wants to "stay on (council) and stay involved for as long as I can."
"I still plan to give this council (my) full faith and effort as I've always done," he told his fellow officials.
Making the decision to leave Oxford was a difficult one for the Albensi clan, which includes wife, Jessica Hallmark, and 18-month-old son, John.
"We really, really love Oxford," Albensi said. "We miss it already just knowing that we're not going to be here anymore. It's been good to both of us. We've made a lot of good friends and met some great people. Hopefully, those relationships will last."
Elected to council in September 2007, Albensi has only served as president since January of this year. He was elected to lead the council in the wake of President Tom Benner's death.
During his tenure on council, Albensi, who's lived in the village since 2005, has been a staunch advocate for fiscal conservatism, favoring cuts in both taxes and "excessive spending."
"I'm proudest of my voting record (when it came to) keeping the millage rate at a reasonable level," he said.
Albensi successfully led the charge to reduce the village property tax rate by 1 mill back in 2009 and was part of the council that privatized the municipal water treatment plant's operations in an effort to save money.
He's also been a strong proponent of requiring village employees to pay a greater share of their health insurance premiums and examining other ways to save tax money such as potentially contracting for police dispatch services with the Oakland County Sheriff's Department.
When asked if he'll become active in local politics in his new community, Albensi replied, "We'll see."
"I have no plans as of right now to do that, but we'll see what happens after we get settled in," he said. "It will always be there and I'll always try to stay involved in some capacity. I'm not sure about elected official, but some capacity."
Albensi made an unsuccessful bid as a Republican candidate for the Oakland County Board of Commissioners back in the August 2010 primary election.
Once Albensi resigns, council must choose a resident to fill his seat until the November 2014 general election. Council must also elect one of its own to the village presidency.
Only council persons Dave Bailey and Maureen Helmuth are eligible for the president and president pro-tem positions.
That's because they were elected to council by village voters, whereas council persons Elgin Nichols and Susan Bossardet were appointed to their seats.
Bossardet was appointed earlier this year to fill Benner's seat.
At last week's council meeting, Bailey let it be known he's ready to step in to assist Albensi.
"As president pro-tem of the village, I know of nothing in my schedule of responsibilities that would prevent me from presiding at any meeting when Mr. Albensi wouldn't possibly be available," he said.
Albensi indicated he appreciated that, but he "will be at all the meetings that are scheduled" between now and his departure.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.