All eight candidates will be on March 18 ballot

Gwen Chamberlain

Although some signatures on some Penn Yan Village Trustee petitions were determined invalid by Yates County Board of Elections officials, each candidate received enough signatures to land a spot on the March 18 village election ballot, according to a ruling by the Board of Elections.

Candidate Richard Stewart filed challenges against petitions filed by the four incumbents — Michael Christensen, Nancy Taylor, Robert Church and Michael D’Abbracci, and against petitions filed by Ken Kamholtz and Matthew Mitchell.

As a result of the challenge, 34 of 155 signatures on the incumbents’ petitions were invalidated, but that left each of the candidates with a sufficient number of signatures to meet the village requirements.

But the next question is this: Are there eight candidates running for three four-year terms and one two-year term? Or, are there seven candidates running for three four-year terms and one candidate running for one two-year seat?

Penn Yan Village Clerk/Treasurer Shawna Wilber says although there has been some confusion about the terms, she and the county board agree the election will follow the village section of the New York election law which states, “No election of village officers… shall be invalid on account of the failure of the electors to designate in their ballots the respective terms of office of persons to be elected…but the persons so elected to such office, who are eligible and receive the highest number of votes, shall be elected.”

Wilber says that means terms will not be listed on the ballot and the candidate who gets the fourth highest number of votes will take the seat with the two year term. The three candidates earning the highest number of votes will win the three seats with four year terms.

The difference in terms relates to the election rotation, which is intended to prevent all the trustee seats being up for election in the same year.

D’Abbracci was appointed by Mayor Douglas Marchionda Jr. to fill the seat that was vacated when Ronald Dailey resigned last summer. Now, the voters will decide who should remain in that seat until it is up for election for a four-year term in 2010.

The seats held by Christensen, Taylor and Church are the seats that are up for election for four year terms this year.

Penn Yan Village residents wishing to vote in the election must be registered by March 7.

Registered village voters who will be out of the area on March 18 may apply for an absentee ballot at the village office through March 17. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by March 18.

The Chronicle-Express is planning a Meet-The-Candidates forum for the public to learn more about the candidates. This free event will be held in the Penn Yan Middle School Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. March 4.

Moderated by the League of Women Voters, the forum will include opportunities for each of the candidates to introduce themselves, followed by a question and answer session.