Gary Hudes, a Hempstead Town councilman, announced Monday night that he would step down in June.
Hudes, 61, a Levittown Republican representing the Sixth District, owns a Bellmore jewelry store.
He was appointed to the town board in July 1999, lost his seat in the November 1999 election, and was elected the following year.
“For the past 17 years as Town Councilman I’ve been able to make a difference in the lives of families in the Town of Hempstead, but now it’s time for me to spend more time with my own family, my four grandchildren and my growing business,” Hudes said in a statement issued Monday.
Stepping down before the November election allows his replacement to be appointed by the town board to finish his term. He said during a phone interview Monday that his timing is only motivated by the real estate market — he’s selling his home and said it’s better to do so in the spring — and the opportunity to have a summer off.
This is the town board’s fourth vacancy for an appointment since 2015.
“There’s always a convenient reason for a departure,” Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs said Tuesday. “I’d like them to be thinking of the taxpayer first and their personal housing market issue second.”
Hudes said Tuesday that he set the timeline for his retirement, not town officials or the county Republicans. “At this point I’m making the best decisions for me and my family,” he said.
Joseph Mondello, chairman of the county’s Republican committee, could not be reached for comment.
A jeweler since age 17, Hudes said he uses his small business work ethic in politics.
“Customer service was something that I wanted to bring to government,” he said.
Other council members often sought Hudes’ input on beautification projects, including landscaping at businesses appearing before the Town Board.
Hudes said he has been a past president of the chambers of commerce for Bellmore and Nassau County. He served as the director of the Bellmore Village Downtown Revitalization Project, which won several awards and spread to other communities in the region, according to the town’s website.
“Councilman Gary Hudes has been an effective voice for the residents whom he represents on the Hempstead Town Board,” Supervisor Anthony Santino said in a statement Monday. “He has improved the local quality-of-life for neighbors by combating graffiti, working to revitalize our downtowns and championing community beautification projects. He has been a great friend, as well as a thoughtful legislator, and his presence on the town board will be missed.”