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Bag of feces thrown at Hudson mayor following Youth Director firing

November 05, 2018 07:31 PM

HUDSON - The mayor of Hudson is responding after someone threw a bag of feces at him during a meeting last week.

It happened while Mayor Rick Rector answered questions about the city's Youth Center budget. That's after Youth Director Nick Zachos was recently removed from his position.

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"You know it's just heartbreaking, because I know what he means to the city, I know what he means to the youth of Hudson and they really look up to him," Malachi Walker said. "Still baffled, I'm still-I don't understand what's going on."

Walker has lived in the city of Hudson his whole life. He used to go to the Youth Center years ago.

Dozens of people attended the city budget meeting Thursday. Things got heated and a video posted by Udell Community Action shows someone throwing a bag of feces at Rector. Hudson Police said the suspect was wearing a mask.

Zachos' supporters don't condone the act, but they said it is indicative of just how upset the decision has made some community members.

"People spoke very, very passionately people were very upset deep to the core because we know the work that Nick has been doing and we see the impact already and it seems like he's really getting things solidly organize to build on," early childhood educator Majia Reed said.

Rector said Zachos was offered a Recreation Attendant position. It's a demotion, but Zachos accepted.

"To take a demotion knowing that he’s not going to be able to have the ability to do certain things that he used to do," Walker said. "You know what, like I was saying I think if they were to give him a janitor job, Nick would take that as long as he can be a part of the kid’s lives, as long as he can do things to interact with the kids because that’s just who he is."

Rector said the decision to remove Zachos was not due to budget constraints. He said it's because the department is being restructured. He expects the department will also see an increase in funding in 2019.

However, the Youth Commissioner is now accepting applications for the Youth Director position. That leaves many wondering why Zachos was let go in the first place.

"That's what we all want to know and that's what we would like the mayor and the new Youth Commissioner to address and not hide behind, 'Well it's a personal matter and we can't discuss it,' and to not have Nick be able to talk about it," Reed said.

Zachos said about 70 kids come to the Youth Center each day during the school year, and he expects that number to climb to 80-90 once the weather really gets cold. Zachos said they had 220 kids in the summer program this past year as well.

The city's Youth and Aging Committee will hold a meeting at City Hall on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Many people are expected to attend.

Hudson Police are still looking for the person who threw the bag of feces.

Credits

Emily Burkhard

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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