Who's running? Yates County and town elections
YATES COUNTY -- Once, the late Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, told someone that, "All politics is local." While it might have applied to a different debate, it certainly applies year around in rural towns, villages and counties. Here, the rubber meets the road
It is in this setting that local elected officials’ decisions have a direct impact on residents and tax payers. Public safety, social services, roads, bridges, sanitary sewers or roadside ditch run-off are important issues, to say nothing of the other big local issue, education of our children. These officials play a very important part in our lives. They not only decide which services we enjoy but also how we pay for them. The committees that they appoint will both assist with and judge the merits of building applications, land use, and development. Town magistrates and county judicial officials have the potential to guide or punish our children, or for that matter, us.
Towns hold November elections every two years for officials that serve two or four year terms. The same for counties. Villages hold elections in March; again for officials serving two or four year terms.
Two major parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, will nominate with candidates who may have dramatically different views on what services the local governments will provide and how to pay for them. For the most part, the differences may be slight, and it is incumbent on the candidates themselves to speak out, to inform voters on the policies and programs that they want to change or initiate.
This year, in Yates County, there are contesting candidates for County Legislature. In District 1, challenger K Dixon Zorvich opposes incumbent legislators, Douglas Paddock, Timothy Cutler, Edward Bronson and Patrick Killen. And in District 3, challengers Valerie Brechko, Teresa Hoban, newcomer Kelley Reynolds, and M. A. Phillips-Espana oppose incumbents Daniel Banach, Charlie Chilson and Leslie Church. Also Mark Morris re-enters the race as a former incumbent, to make a slate of eight candidates for four positions.
In Legislative District 2, incumbents Terry Button, Richard Harper and Richard Willson are unopposed. In Legislative District 4 Incumbents
William Holgate and Bonnie Percy are running unopposed. To complete the slate of unopposed candidates is first time candidate Jesse Jayne.
The other countywide races see candidates without opposition. Todd Casella is running for a second term as District Attorney, Marsha Devine is running for the first time in the newly redefined position of County Treasurer, and longtime Coroner Theron Smith is seeking another term.
At the Town level, we find no contests in the town of Barrington with Steven Perry running for Supervisor; Joy Perry for Town Clerk; Nathaniel Olney and Bryan Yarrington II for Town Council and Steven Wheeler for Highway Superintendent.
In Benton, again there is no contest for Supervisor, the incumbent John Prendergast is unopposed. For Town Council, there is a race with Bill Roege running to unseat one of the incumbents, Brian Murhpy or Glenn Quackenbush.
In Italy, the Town Supervisor Richard Crag and the Town Clerk, Deborah Craig are running unopposed. Two seats are contested for Town Council by incumbent David Ferry, and new comers Benjamin Dempsey and Micheal Salotto. There are no candidates on the ballot for the currently vacant position of Town Justice.
As a departure from the past, in the Town of Jerusalem, there is no opposition this year, with Jamie Sission running for Supervisor, and Richie Lent and Sarah Purdy running for Town Council.
In Middlesex, we find some new faces running. At Supervisor is newcomer David Adam, and for Town Council Austin Liddiard and Paul Mitchell are also newcomers, while incumbent Peter Gerbic is the third candidate in this race for two seats. Todd Conway is running unopposed for Highway Superintendent.
In Milo, Town Clerk Patricia Christensen is running unopposed for a renewed term, and for Town Council, Mildred Phillips-Espana is running again to unseat one of two incumbents, Gene Spanneut or James Harris. Longtime Highway Superintendent, Lance Yonge, is running unopposed.
Each candidate in Potter is incumbent and running unopposed. For Supervisor is Larry Lewis; for Town Council are Paul Moberg and Brian Bootes; for Town Clerk is Deborah Adams; and for Highway Superintendent is Arthur Lloyd Parsons.
In Starkey the major contest is between two newcomers Carrie Wood and Paula Sullivan who are seeking the office of Town Justice. John Socha and Julie Dunkelberger are unopposed for the two Town Council seats, and Ralph Warren is running unopposed for Highway Superintendent.
In Torrey, there will be a contest for Town Supervisor with Peter Martini competing with James Smith. Town Clerk Betty Daggett, Town Council members Grant Downs and Colby Petersen, and Highway Superintendent Timothy Chambers are all running unopposed.
Voters will find voting opportunities at the County Office Building, 417 Liberty St., starting Saturday, Oct. 23. This consolidated Early Voting site is open to all voters of Yates County starting at 9 a.m. daily. Closing times vary from 2 p.m. on weekends, to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, and 5 p.m. the rest of the week days.
The traditional Election Day, when polls are open in the towns, is Tuesday, Nov. 2. Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.
Sample ballots can be found on the county website in Elections/Sample Ballots.