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Village elections in Columbia and Greene counties

Mar 14, 2011 12:24 pm
Village elections roll around this week, on Tuesday, March 15, with four sets of Columbia county races and five in Greene County.

Columbia County…


The mayoral race in the village of Chatham pits a newcomer to politics, Columbia County native Tom Curran, against longtime incumbent Paul Boehme, with the challenger and two trustee candidates running under the independent Chatham United Party line. The terms are all for two years. Mayor Boehme, in office for over 20 years, prides himself on having grown up in the village, and served as a trustee and deputy mayor before taking on his long-held position. Tom Curran lived in Kinderhook for years and moved to Chatham in 1985, where he has been working as a machinist and tool maker for local businesses. He’s running on tax issues, which he said would have risen above 10 percent if it weren’t for his leading of protests. Boehme pointed to a final 4.6 percent budget increase for the current year, and an average 1.8 percent per year tax levy hike over the past 11 years. For village trustee posts, three will be vying for two openings: incumbents Lael Locke and Pat Wemitt will be faced by Joanne DelRossi on the Chatham United Party line. Locke, who is running on her own Action Party line, owns The Firm exercise studio, which is located in the village, and was elected to the Village Board in 1997 after serving for three years as a community appointee to Chatham’s Comprehensive Plan Committee. In addition, she was also one of the founders of the Chatham Business Alliance and spearheaded their 1995 drive to plant trees along Main Street. She is currently employed as a part-time community planner with the New York Planning Federation, a statewide non-profit that helps educate planning boards and zoning boards of appeal. Wemitt owns a painting and remodeling company, and is currently Catskill’s high school principal. DelRossi, running with Curran, is part of the management team at Coarc and was co-chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals and an active member on the village Comprehensive Plan Committee. She has said that if elected, she would like to see the two monthly board meetings consolidated into one and turn the second meeting into a public forum, where the board can sit down with members of the community and listen to their concerns and ideas. The election will be held noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday March 15 at the Tracy Memorial Hall.

Two of Kinderhook’s four village trustees are up for re-election Tuesday in uncontested races. Dale Leiser and Robert Puckett have been successful running mates on the Bell Party ticket since 2007. Polls are open noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall, 6 Chatham St.


Village voters will decide between incumbent Clarence “Skip” Speed and challenger Brian Wheeler for Village Mayor. Speed has served as mayor since 2005, when he took the place of the late Philip Mossman, and began as a village trustee in 1997, and prides himself on his work to get the new coop up and running in the old Stewart’s Shop this spring, as well as his defense of the Pine Haven nursing home, which the county was pushing to move the facility to the old Ockawamick School. He says his goals for a next term are to clean and dredge the Philmont reservoir, and that he’s working to get restoration grants for area businesses and buildings, like the Summit Mill and the Vanderbilt House. Wheeler, 39, prides himself for having attended almost all village meetings for 20 years… and says he’s dissatisfied with “Skip” Speed’s performance, calling himself a candidate of change. He says he would prefer to have the Stewarts still in the village… “I want to keep what we’ve got left. We’re losing everything we’ve got. I want to bring the village back to somewhat of it used to be,” Wheeler says. Village elections are from noon to 9 p.m. at the Village Hall, off Main Street/Route 217 in Philmont.

Mayor Gary Strevell and Trustees Nancy Bryant and Philip Bickerton are running unopposed for reelection in the Village of Valatie. The election will be conducted from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Village Hall, Spring and Main streets.

Greene County…

Athens Village races will three Democrat candidates running on the ballot with no opposition. Incumbent Mayor Andrea Smallwood and Trustee Robert June will be joined by trustee candidate Anthony Patsky, who replaced incumbent Democratic Trustee Tom Sopris, who earlier opted not to run for re-election. Smallwood will be running for a third term and June is up for his second term, and newcomer Anthony Patsky once ran unsuccessfully for trustee in the early 1990s, and decided the time was right for another run. The three have been campaigning on a major sewer upgrade they’ve started, among other issues. Village elections will be held on March 15 at Rivertown Senior Center on Second St.

In the village of Catskill, incumbent Trustee Joseph Kozloski, 59 and incumbent Justice William Wootton, 65, are each running unopposed for re-election. A Democrat, Kozloski was cross-endorsed by Republicans in his bid for a third three-year term on the Village Board. A Republican, Wootton was cross-endorsed by Democrats in his bid for another two-year term. Polls will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Catskill Firehouse, 1 Central Ave.

A three-member Republican slate of candidates has been campaigning heavily, despite facing no opposition, in the village of Coxsackie, where incumbents Mayor Mark Evans and Deputy Mayor Stephen Hanse are seeking reelection, while political newcomer trustee candidate Paul Sutton is seeking a first term. The three are touting the Village Board’s ability, in the last budget cycle, to impose a 0% tax increase. Evans is running for his second term as mayor. Previously he had served five years as a Town Councilman. Hanse is up for his third term as trustee.

In the village of Hunter, incumbent Mayor William Maley, 55, is running unopposed for his third three-year term. Polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall on Main Street.

In the Village of Tannersville, local Democrats nominated three political newcomers - Jason Dugo, Jeremiah Dixon and Christopher Hack, for village board seats held by incumbents now running on a Watchful Eye Party line. Dugo, 30, will be running for mayor against incumbent Mayor Lee McGunnigle, 52 and mayor since 2007, which followed an earlier stint in office from 1995 to 2001. The newcomer wants a more progressve village reaching out to bring in new tourists and businesses, while McGunnigle says he wants to keep taxes stable, improve the village’s infrastructure and add to the calendar of community events. Dixon and Hack are running against incumbent Joseph Landers for two two-year seats on the Village Board. There is also a write-in contest for a four-year term as village justice. Polls will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Village Hall on Main Street.

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