COOPERTOWN – “Affordable housing” will be the priority of Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, who is running unopposed in the Sept. 15 Village Board primary, according to questionnaires posted today by the League of Women Voters, Cooperstown chapter, on the LWV’s “Vote 411” web site.
“The village’s largest employer, Bassett Healthcare, employs 2700 people on the Cooperstown campus alone,” wrote Tillapaugh in response to the League’s questionnaire. “The majority of those employees commute from long distances. It is to Cooperstown’s advantage to increase our housing stock and population.”
In addition to the mayor, three candidates are competing for two trustee positions: MacGuire Benton and Joe Membrino, incumbents and Democrats, and Mary Margaret Robbins, Republican challenger.
The elections were delayed from March 18 by Governor Andrew Cuomo, due to the COVID-19 threat.
The voter guide is based on candidate responses to two questionnaires, one sent in the beginning of 2020, and one sent last month. The new questionnaire included issues brought up at the March candidates forum as well as topics related to COVID-19 and its impact on the Village of Cooperstown. Questionnaires were sent to the candidates.
VOTE411 is a “one-stop-shop” for election information and provides simple tools to help people navigate the voting process. VOTE411 also includes voter registration tools, polling place locations, and other helpful Election Day information.
“It will be almost six months from the originally scheduled Village election to the new September date,” said Liane Hirabayashi, co-president of the Cooperstown chapter. “The League wanted to make sure that voters had a chance to revisit our March forum and candidates had a chance to respond to life in the village today.”
“We also want to encourage people to register to vote, and provide information about how to vote absentee,” added Julie Sorensen, the other co-president.
The election is open to all Village residents who are registered to vote. The deadline for registering to vote in the Village Elections is Friday, Sept. 4. Register at Otsego County Board of Elections in the Meadows Office Building, 140 County Highway 33W, Suite 2, Cooperstown. Registration information is also available at otsegocounty.com. You can check your registration status at VOTE411.org.
Absentee ballots are available from Village Administrator Teri Barown at 22 Main Street; or call (607) 547-2411 or visit cooperstownny.org. The League confirmed with the Village Clerk that If people would like to vote absentee because of concerns about COVID 19, they should check “illness” and write “COVID” as the reason for absentee voting.
For this Village Election, absentee ballot applications must be mailed to the Village Clerk no later than Sept. 8 or delivered to the Barown no later than Sept. 14. The ballot must be delivered to the Clerk no later than the close of polls on the day of election.
Polls will be open noon-9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, at the firehall, 24 Chestnut St.