Races set in five Yates County towns

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Barrington Supervisor Candidates

There will be elections in each of Yates County’s nine towns, but races only in Barrington (supervisor), Benton, Milo, and Torrey (town council), and Jerusalem (justice).

Here is some information on candidates in these towns:


A former Barrington town supervisor, Eileen M. Farnan, 70, and town resident John D. Kuehn, 68, who was previously a town councilman in the Steuben County Town of Caton, are running for the Supervisor seat that will be vacated by appointee Fred Wright at the end of the year.

Kuehn, retired vice president of Sprague Insurance, has been a full time Barrington resident since 2012. His town government experience includes implementing zoning regulations, negotiation of union contracts, and oversight of the annual budget. He is a current member of the Barrington Zoning Board of Appeals.

Farnan, co-owner of Barrington Cellars and Buzzard Crest Vineyards, has lived in Barrington 47 years, was Barrington Supervisor from 2004 through 2010. She says she is running for office to bring peace to the town. “Currently our Town in such a state of turmoil, I would like to see the Town of Barrington at peace. Hopefully the questions that are on the ballot this year concerning the alcohol issue will give us the direction the majority of residents want us to follow, she writes, adding that her opinion on the ballot questions does not matter, but the opinions of the town’s registered voters do matter.

Kuehn is in favor of all three alcohol sales proposals.

“Resolving issues with the Olney Place will involve arriving at a compromise that respects the interests of all parties involved,” writes Kuehn.


Incumbent Councilman Glenn Quackenbush (R), and newcomers Brian Champlin (R), and Brian Murphy (D,I), are seeking election to two town council seats in Benton.

Murphy, 28, employed by emergency services, is active in the Bellona Volunteer Fire Company, and was previously a Yates County coroner and critical care EMT who has lived in Benton for 25 years. “I understand how important it is to keep taxes low while still running a town efficiently,” says Murphy.

Champlin, 47, an employee of the Yates County Highway Department, is also a Yates County Coroner, and is active in the Penn Yan Volunteer Ambulance Corps. He has lived in Benton 11 years. “I want to serve the public while being fiscally responsible,” he says.

Quackenbush, 69, owns Quackenbush Hardware and has lived in Benton since 1983. A board member since 1998, Quackenbush says keeping control of taxes and keeping zoning up to date are town priorities.


In Jerusalem, Republican incumbent town justice Matthew Davison is being challenged by Democratic newcomer Sharon Pinckney. The town justice term is four years.


In Milo, Republican incumbent council members Gene Spanneut, 70, and James Harris Jr., 74, are being challenged by Democratic newcomer Mildred Phillips-Espana for two seats on the town board.

Spanneut, who has lived in Milo for 18 years, is retired. He has been a member of the Milo Town Board since 2012.

“I look forward to continue serving on our Town Board because rather than only seeing issues it has also chosen to focus on creating opportunities to maintain and improve upon the many factors within the Town’s spheres of influence and action that will keep as positive the “mix of things” that makes Milo such a wonderful environment in which to live, work, and enjoy our lives,” writes Spanneut.

Harris, 74, has served eight years on the Milo Town Board, and has lived in Milo 50 years. He says the most important issue Milo faces is “maintaining taxes at a level rate and providing good services for the town.”

Phillips-Espana did not provide information.


In Torrey, Republican incumbents Colby Petersen, 39, and Burge Morris, 78, are being challenged by Democrat newcomer Grant Downs, who will also appear on the Independent line.

Petersen, a District Technician with Yates County Soil and Water Conservation District, is the current deputy supervisor in Torrey. has lived in Torrey 37 years

Petersen says, “Clean drinking water and HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms) are two topics that need to be resolved Progress is being made on Water Districts 1 and 2 but we need to keep pushing. HABs are an immediate threat to water supplies and recreation.”

Morris, first elected to the board in 2005, has been a member of the Dresden Fire Department for 50 years. He has served on the Dresden Village Board and was Dresden mayor for four years. Morris says the priorities for Torrey are, “The water dsitrict and getting Penn Yan to clean up the problems with the sewer plant.”

Downs, 70, is active in the Seneca Lake Pure Water Association’s stream monitoring program and Harmful Algae Bloom shoreline sampling. Retired from IBM, Downs says, “I strongly believe if one wishes to live in a good and vibrant community, then one has to be involved in the community.”

He feels the most important issues facing Torrey are maintaining a stable tax base; resolving issues with the water districts; protecting the heald ot Seneca Lake; and protecting the town’s farm-based businesses and contemporary rural lifestyle.