Almost 15 years after he stepped down as Goshen village mayor, Scott Wohl is getting another crack at the job.
“The faces have changed, but the issues have remained the same,” he said in an interview this week, citing water quality, parking availability and maintaining a vibrant downtown as examples.
Wohl, now 49, served two terms as mayor from 2003 to 2007 and three terms as a village trustee before that. He again rejoined the board as a trustee and deputy mayor in April.
He is replacing retiring Mayor Peter Smith, who is moving to North Carolina.
Molly O’Donnell, director of workforce development for the county government and an active participant in village affairs, has been named a trustee and deputy mayor.
Both positions are up for election in March.
Recruiting new blood
The mayor’s job is part-time. Wohl is senior manager for community and government affairs at LiveOnNY, a regional non-profit organization that promotes organ transplants.
Wohl was one of Goshen’s youngest mayors. (Kyle Roddey was 25 when he was elected in 2011). He said he can bring more life experiences to his public role now, but he is committed to recruiting enthusiastic new blood as well. “We can get very stale in local government,” he said.
The Times Herald-Record reported in 2007 that Wohl, frustrated by bureaucracy, “has had enough of local politics,” but he said that was untrue. He merely left the job for new challenges, he said.
An economy based on entertainment and tourism
He said that during his first terms as mayor and trustee the village made important infrastructure improvements. “We were responsive and did what we wanted to do,” he said.
Looking ahead, he said the community’s economy has shifted to a greater emphasis on entertainment and tourism. Under consideration by the board are upgraded recreational facilities and “minor things” in code enforcement to ensure that properties are maintained.
Wohl promises to run for a full term in 2022. He is excited by the prospects of his new job.
“Not many folks,” he said, “get a second chance in life.”