Board of Elections Sends Out Letter
To Richfield Lanes Owner/Candidate
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.COM
COOPERSTOWN – The county Board of Elections has sent a letter to Richfield Town Board candidate Jeremy Fisher, a partner in Richfield Lanes, saying he is not a town resident, according to Democratic Commissioner Mike Henrici.
“There is nothing in election law that requires a candidate to be a resident to run for office: You only have to be a resident by the election,” said Henrici, who with the Republican commissioner, Lori Lehenbauer, sent the letter to Fisher this week advising him of his status.
Regardless, it is too late to remove Fisher’s name from the ballot before the Nov. 5 town elections, Henrici said.
The situation surfaces leading to what promises to be a hard-fought town election this year.
If one faction maintains control of the Town Board, it’s like a new comprehensive plan that bans windmills and limits commerce will be pass; if Republicans led by Nick Palevsky, the former supervisor who is again seeking office, the plan will likely be set aside.
Reached a few minutes ago, Fisher said he is trying to establish dual residency – in the Town of Richfield and West Winfield – and will visit the Board of Elections Monday to see if he can bring his candidacy into line with election law.
The Board of Elections had received a complaint and, lacking enforcement officers itself, asked the Sheriff’s Department to send a deputy to a Butternuts Road property, which he determined was not livable, which prompted the letter.
But Fisher said he has also been living part time, not on Butternuts Road, but at Richfield Lanes, as it’s often more convenient than driving back and forth to West Winfield. “I purchased the property” – at 20 Bronner St. in the Village of Richfield Springs – “with the intent of staying here,” he said.
He said he thinks a current member of the Richfield Town Board also has dual residency, but declined a name anyone until he can verify that’s the case.
Henrici and Lehenbauer said they’ve only encountered this situation once before, 2-3 years ago in the Town of Pittsfield.