March 18, 2009

Village elections today

It's election day, even though it's a Wednesday in March. Dryden and Freeville hold their elections in March, and New York State considers St. Patrick's Day a good reason to hold elections a day later. Polls are open from noon to 9:00pm today at the village halls.

In the Village of Freeville, it sounds like yet another uncontested race, with incumbent trustees Rachel Dickinson and Marco Cestaro running for re-election.

In the Village of Dryden, it's the busiest race we've seen in years, with full slates running for both the Democrats and the Republicans, signs everywhere, and candidates out and talking with people.

I'm especially happy with the Democratic slate this year. We managed to combine our most successful candidates from past trustee races with a mayoral candidate who's already demonstrated her ability to get things done on Main Street. I marvel at their unique combination of energy, experience, and deep connection to the Village.

I first met Wendy Martin when she was first presenting the idea that would become the Dryden Community Center Cafe. She came to the Dryden Town Historical Society trustees to present the idea, which was happily received. Her energy, conviction, and love of her community were already obvious then, and have only grown since. The Cafe took root, a first small step toward reversing the past few years' collapse in downtown Dryden, and a big step toward bringing together many people who hadn't known each other before.

I was delighted when I heard that she was considering running for Mayor, and it was very clear that she'd done her homework when she first started coming to meetings. She'd examined the Village budget, the sewer plant, the recent history of Town and Village politics, and talked with neighbors, elected officials past and present, and neighbors. Since then she's continued to reach out, knocking on doors, going to meetings, and sharing her vision for the Village.

Our two trustee candidates, Mary Ellen Bossack and Lisa Valentinelli, bring their own deep connections with the Village. Bossack has worked as a schools counselor in the Dryden schools for decades, and served as a Village Trustee for three terms before. Lisa Valentinelli teaches at the MacCormick Secure Center in Caroline. She grew up in Dryden, and as she puts it, "she's always come back to Dryden." She's been involved in Dryden politics before, both through her father's campaigns for Town Justice and through her own campaign for Village Trustee, which we thought she'd won until the absentee ballots put her down by 3.

Together, the three of them are an incredible combination of vision, energy, and experience, and I hope Village of Dryden voters will elect them today!

Posted by simon at March 18, 2009 8:37 AM in
Note on photos