HOMER, N.Y. -- The Village of Homer remembers one of its most influential citizens. Former mayor and lifelong resident Harry Calale passed away of natural causes Tuesday.
The 84-year-old served 20 years of his life as mayor between 1967 and 1987. He was elected to ten terms and is well known for developing parks and senior housing in the village. Calale also established the much-needed sewer system, despite strong opposition.
"If he knew that what he was going to do was right, he listened to what other people had to say but he went ahead and had the courage to do what he felt was the right thing to do," said Mary Alice Bellardini, a friend and former Homer mayor.
"His integrity and his forthrightness is what drew people to like him. So that's why he became so popular, I think, is the way he did it. He did it the right way," said son John Calale.
Though no plans have been made for a permanent memorial, village trustees named Calale Park in his honor when the mayor left office.