He forgot to run: Martini will be appointed to fill his own seat on Torrey Town Council

John Christensen
Torrey Councilman John Martini

Torrey Town Board member John Martini was surprised by a call last week from Town Clerk Betty Daggett — not by the call, but by what she told him. Martini was supposed to run for re-election last November, but had forgotten to do so. Martini’s term is odd in Yates County for being elected in an even year, while most other local offices are on the ballot in odd years.w

“I simply forgot it was time, and I guess the town did, too,” said Martini, speaking of what would have been his fourth four-year term. He previously served the town for more than 20 years on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and as a Yates County Legislator for one term in the 1980s.

In order to fill the seat now vacant by the lack of election, the Torrey Town Board intends to appoint Martini to fill the seat at their next meeting Feb.10, and he will have to run for election in November. “I do enjoy doing it,” he says, adding with a chuckle, “but apparently not enough to remember running for re-election!”

Martini says he will have to think hard between now and then about whether he wants to serve another term. “That may be, subconsciously, why I forgot. Maybe it’s someone else’s turn; to get someone younger to run and get that energy of youth.”

He referenced Thomas Jefferson’s belief that after five years, all people involved in government “should go back to the farm” and live as ordinary citizens. “I believe in rollover, but I also believe taking part in local government is important. We make decisions that affect people’s lives. I learned years ago in the legislature that while the weirdos on the left and the right jump up and down, it’s the middle that makes the decisions,” he adds.

Yates County Election Commissioner Robert Brechko (D) says the town could now alter the term for that seat to be for four years from January 2016 to fall in line with other office’s terms.

Other business in Torrey:

Highway Superintendent: At the last town board meeting Jan. 13, the board appointed former Dresden Mayor Tim Chambers to a 90-day trial period as Highway Superintendent to replace Jeff Finger, who left the position he was elected to in order to become a highway worker for the Town of Milo. At the end of 90 days, Chambers will be considered for reappointment. While Chambers does not possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL), he will assist in highway work such as snow plowing with the smaller pickup truck. The board strongly urged him to get his CDL as soon as possible.

With the departure of Finger, FEMA officials will be coming to the town to help sort out the remaining paperwork from flood damage applications. The town has received approximately $100,000 so far.

Water District: The town is currently researching the feasibility of creating a water district in the northwest corner of the town. Since the extension of Benton’s Water Distict #1 line along State Rte. 14 south to the Torrey town line is nearing final approval, Torrey has engaged Clark, Patterson, Lee Engineers to develop a “Map Plan and Report” for their own water district. Resident George Thompson of Serenity Road requested permission to investigate creating a district in 2014, and has been actively researching the matter. The roads to be mapped include Rte. 14, Anthony Road, Anthony Beach, Arrowhead Beach, David Downey, Davy, Rock Haven, Serenity, Serenity Beach, plus Albany, Boston, Caton, Elmira, Flint, Geneva, and Houston Roads.

Resident Tim Hansen inquired why this was being investigated, since a previous study was done of Anthony, Arrowhead, and Perry Point Roads and failed due to lack of interest, funding, and feasibility. Jeremy DeLeyser of Clark, Patterson, Lee stated that Geneva could only supply 40,000 gallons per day via Benton, and that further quantities may be available from Dresden or Penn Yan directly.