Two Democratic incumbents, MacGuire Benton and Joe Membrino, and Republican candidate Mary Margaret Sohns are on the ballot.
So is Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, who is running unopposed.
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.
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
Governor Cuomo over the weekend again rescheduled village elections – the contested one in Cooperstown, as well as others across the state – until Sept. 15, six months after the original March 18 date, Village Clerk Teri Barown confirmed this morning.
Again, Cooperstown Balloting Delayed
COOPERSTOWN – Village elections, rescheduled to correspond with the Democratic presidential primary, have now been shifted back to a separate day, Village Administrator Teri Barown announced today.
Governor Cuomo announced over the weekend that the presidential primary has again been moved, to June 23. Today, it was announce village election will again been rescheduled. No firm date was set, except to say it will be June 1 at the earliest.
GOVERNOR’S DAILY UPDATE
It’s Unclear If Village Elections
Will Be Delayed 2 More Months
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VILLAGE VOTING MORE COMPLICATED
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – In light of Governor Cuomo’s decision to postpone Wednesday’s village elections statewide due , the Cooperstown candidates have said they are pulling up their lawn signs for the time being.
Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch is unopposed. MacGuire Benton, Joe Membrino and Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns are competing for two Village Board seats.
The terms of Benton and Membrino, the two incumbents, expire April 1; but Tillapaugh said that, due to the governor’s State of Emergency, they will continue to serve until the next election.
New Vote April 28, Same Day
As Demo Presidential Primary
Governor Cuomo early this evening delayed all village elections in New York State until April 28, the same day as the statewide Democratic Presidential Primary.
“Delaying village elections will help ensure poll workers and voters are not potentially exposed to the virus and at the same time maintain integrity in our election system,” Cuomo said.
Many such races are uncontested, but in the Village of Cooperstown, three candidates – MacGuire Benson, Joe Membrino and Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns – were vying to fill two seats this Wednesday, March 18.
COOPERSTOWN – To reassure citizens of the safety of voting in Wednesday’s village elections, hand sanitizers will be available at the fire hall for election staffer and voters, Village Hall announced. Polls will be open noon-9 p.m.
Additionally, trustee candidate Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns has announced her campaign will set up a kiosk in the parking lot across Chestnut Street from the fire hall. Volunteers will provide to hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and other necessary items to allow people to vote with confidence in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic.
COOPERSTOWN – Village trustee candidate MacGuire Benton announced a few minutes ago he is suspending door-to-door campaigning because of concerns about coronavirus.
“It’s an unfortunate and difficult decision to make, as I am committed to knocking on every door and talking to as many voters as possible,” he said. “But it’s the right things to do during this COVID-19 crisis.”
Meanwhile, candidate Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns said this morning she has contacted the NYS Clean campaign to see if hand-sanitizer refill stations can be set up in Cooperstown during the National Emergency.
LETTER from RICHARD STERNBERG
To the Editor:
I endorse and urge you to go out and vote for Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh and Trustee MacGuire (Mac) Benton for re-election and Trustee Joe Membrino for election to the Cooperstown Village Board. I have worked with all of them on the board, on village committees and other boards, and in other endeavors, and they have all been selfless in their positions, working for the best interest of the entire Cooperstown community.
The election is noon-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at the firehall.
Mayor Tillapaugh has worked tirelessly to continue our spectacular infrastructure improvement, getting it paid
for mostly with grants, and without a tax increase, something that began with former Mayor Jeff Katz. She was born here and has lived in Cooperstown most of her life. She brings an institutional memory to decision making to the Board members’ discussions.
I have worked on many projects with Mac and am impressed with his energy, eagerness to learn, and how much he cares about Coopers-town, where he has lived all of his life. Mac has put forwarded initiatives that have earned 100 percent Board support, something rare for a freshman Trustee. I have seen him lead and develop various groups of civic minded individuals, many of them young like himself. He has worked a full time and part time job while putting in many hours a week into his Trustees’ duties. He brings needed youth to the Board and represents the future of Cooperstown government.
I have worked with Joe Membrino first on the Planning Board in 2015 and then on the Board of Trustees and Finance and Personnel committees since 2019. He is a lawyer and a dedicated public servant who brings the knowledge of a long
career in government service to the table. In the Trustees’ deliberations, he is thoughtful, pragmatic, and straightforward.
He has very diligently and exhaustively reviewed all the documents presented to him and carefully reviewed all 1,000+ line items in the 2020-21 budget frequently raising important questions.
The Village has definitely been continuing to move in the right direction over the last decade. It has increased spending by 100 percent while keeping real estate taxes to its citizens flat. For this we have Mayor Tillapaugh and the other dedicated Board members like Mac and Joe to thank and I urge you to vote to keep them.
RICHARD STERNBERG, M.D
Village Board Races Shaping Up
COOPERSTOWN – Joining Republican Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns, the three Democratic incumbents for Village Board filed for independent lines on the March 18 ballot by the 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday evening.
In addition to having her name on the Democratic ballot line, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch will appear on the “Village United” line. Trustee Joe Membrino’s line is “Liberty Party,” and Trustee MacGuire Benton’s, “Many Voices, One Village.”