May 08, 2007 — One of the North Country's most vocal leaders in local government stepped down unexpectedly last week. Colton town supervisor Hank Ford was known for his combative style and ardent support for private land, snowmobilers, and ATV riders in the Adirondacks. Ford was supervisor for almost 10 years. He's also the regional leader of the Conservative Party. He says he resigned due to health problems and to spend more time with his two grandsons. But Ford's critics have speculated that the reason's more than personal. Ford took heat when Colton dropped its two-year-old veto of the state's purchase of land owned by International Paper. Two months later, Colton got a million dollar state grant to improve parks and athletic fields. Some residents suggested the two were linked. Ford told David sommerstein the town lifted the veto because Albany agreed to drop a challenge to Colton's assessment of state land.