GOP fields three challengers in Athens
Feb 27, 2015 6:36 am
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting in the Greene County News Athens Republicans will have three challengers on the ballot in the upcoming village elections. Rick Surrano will face off against incumbent Democrat Chris Pfister for mayor. Surrano was narrowly defeated in his bid for village trustee in 2013. He is the owner of Surrano's Pizzeria on Washington St., and the manager of the Stewart House. Running with Surrano are Maria Butler and Rickie Gabrielle, who were endorsed for village trustee. Gabrielle is a political newcomer, while Butler has been active with the Athens Republican Committee for eight years. All three candidates told the paper that getting taxes under control, replacing the Department of Public Works garage and revitalizing Second St. are among their top priorities. Surrano's number one issue is the state of the village DPW building. He said, “It’s a hazard, it’s dangerous for workers and the equipment, and we lose a lot of heat because the building is not insulated." Surrano also said the lack of support for local businesses by the current mayor is also problematic. All three candidates said one of the ways to make sure current Athens businesses stay healthy is to ensure the Athens Street Festival continues. The future of the annual summer event is now in question. Village elections are Wed., Mar. 18. Read the full story in the Greene County News.