3-percent of registered voters turn out to re-elect unopposed candidates

VOORHEESVILLE — Facing no opposition, three village trustees and the mayor were re-elected by 59 voters on Tuesday, March 20.

Village candidates do not run on traditional party lines.

Mayor Robert Conway and trustees Richard Berger and Jack Stevens were re-elected to four-year terms, and Sarita Winchell — who was appointed to fill Florence Reddy’s seat after she stepped down in September 2017 — was elected to fill out the remainder of Reddy’s term, which is up next year. Trustee Richard Straut will also be up for re-election in 2019.

Conway received 59 votes to win his fourth four-year term as mayor; he was first elected mayor in 2006. He previously served as a village trustee for four years. Conway, 64, currently works as a real-estate agent. He is married with three adult children and two grandchildren.

Conway said that he wants to continue to work on infrastructure projects for the village like extending the village’s sidewalks, evaluating sewer expansion to Main Street locations, and enhancing village connectivity to the rail trail.

Having not raised taxes for four years, Conway said that he wants to continue the fiscal prudence the village has shown.

Trustee Jack Stevens received 53 votes. He was first elected as a trustee in 1998, he was then mayor from 2002 to 2006 and became a trustee again after that.

Stevens has been retired from Verizon for 13 years. Currently, in a part-time capacity, he performs maintenance for churches in the area. He’s been married to his wife for 48 years, and has two children.  

Passing and implementing the village’s comprehensive plan is a top priority for Stevens, he said. Once the plan is completed, the village can begin to update its zoning code.

He also will continue to work on clean energy, he said, and pointed to an $80,000 grant that has been applied for that would help the village pay to swap out its current streetlights for high-efficient light-emitting-diode lights. The program would allow Voorheesville to significantly lower its street-lighting bill, through and combination of energy, maintenance, and lease cost savings.

Stevens said that extending village sidewalks is also a priority; this summer, work will begin that will extend sidewalks from the elementary school to the library, he said.

Trustee Richard Berger, who also serves as deputy mayor, earned 57 votes. He was first elected to the board in 1997.

Winchell garnered 55 votes. She worked for the Voorheesville Central School District from 1974 to 2011, and then again, in 2014 and 2015, on an interim basis. She began as treasurer for the district and then moved on to become assistant superintendent for business for nine years. She and her husband have two daughters who live out of the area, and two grandchildren.

According to the 2010 Census, Voorheesville had 2,789 residents; a 2016 update by the United States Census Bureau estimates that the village has 2,822 residents.

Voorheesville has 1,971 registered voters: 41 percent of registered voters are Democrats (827); 21 percent are Republicans (419); and 26 percent (529) are not affiliated with a party. The rest of registered voters are enrolled in small parties:  122 with the Independence Party; 63 Conservatives; two are registered with the Green Party; seven with the Working Families Party; and two are Libertarians, according to the Albany County Board of Elections.

More New Scotland News

  • On Election Night, three of the four incumbent New Scotland Democrats facing Republican challengers were still facing uncertain futures as a number of absentee ballots had yet to be counted. But the Democrats breathed a collective sigh of relief on Nov. 17 after the release of the absentee-ballot counts. However, the recanvass results recently released by the Albany County Board of Elections should give Democrats pause as they show that Republicans — there are six for every 10 Democrats in town — are becoming more competitive.

  • The four Democrats who all held leads on their four Republican or GOP-backed challengers on Nov. 2 continued to do so after Nov. 17, when the absentee ballot counts were released by the Albany County Board of Elections. 

  • During the November village board meeting, Steve Schreiber, chairman of the grassroots Committee for a Quiet Zone in Voorheesville, voiced concern with how the project has stalled since an August update.

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