Sparta Township manager William Close has announced his retirement after 37 years in local government.
Close, who has been in his current position since 2014, will retire on April 1.
“I want to thank all those members of the council who have supported me over the years, as well as staff and professionals for their support and efforts in supporting the residents of Sparta during my tenure,” he told the township council on March 23.
The council unanimously appointed police chief Neil Spidaletto as acting township manager. He will fill that role and chief of police with support by the deputy manager, Sam Rome. The township may separately name an acting police chief.
“It’s felt this action will help maintain continuity and stability,” Mayor Christine Quinn said. “The township has an excellent staff of department heads and professionals that will provide the necessary support system during this transition.”
Close said he was most proud of his work improving the township’s financial position, the township’s first multi-purpose field, lights at White Lake Park, and the town hall column lights. He also pointed to the new pedestrian footbridge at Ungerman Park field, the installation of the new fuel island at the Department of Public Works, and the walking path at White Lake Park.
In addition, he said, the township has undertaken a road program that allows them to pave 10 miles of road every year.
Quinn thanked Close for his years of service, calling his achievements “simply remarkable.” She said Close is leaving the township in better shape than he found it.
“We’ve weathered many storm fronts, both literally and physically, and faced challenges, embraced changes, and during a time of national pandemic, we navigated unbelievably complex times,” she said. “Yet through it all, your leadership has helped pull our community through.”