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Area Communities Choose New Leaders In Mayoral Elections

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Tuesday was a busy day for village elections. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief reports on some of the places in our region that will see new leadership.

Voters in South Glens Falls had three candidates to choose from: incumbent Mayor Joe Orlow, a Republican running this time as an independent, Democrat Brigid Martin, and Republican Harry Gutheil, Jr., a former Moreau town supervisor.

Gutheil took the lead.

Gutheil presented himself during his campaign as the candidate for common sense and fiscal responsibility. Taxes were likely on the minds of many after South Glens Falls passed a budget carrying a 15 percent tax increase last year.

Gutheil said he will come into office April 1st with budgeting on his mind, something he said he has had experience with as a county supervisor.

“You’re working with numbers all the time. The biggest thing is having a long-term vision and be prepared for some of your major capital expenses, and getting grant money is huge,” said Gutheil.

Also in Saratoga County, the Village of Schuylerville has a new mayor.

Democrat Dan Carpenter topped Republican Jason Young to become the first of his party to hold the position in decades, though Carpenter insists party politics will not impede his decision-making.

Carpenter says he wants to bring “level-headedness” to the board and encourage more conversation with board members as well as citizen committees.

“You know, I’m looking forward to working with the new board and accepting resumes and appointing someone to the vacant position so we can get to work,” said Carpenter.

Carpenter, who has served two years of his first term on the village board as a trustee, must now appoint a replacement to serve out one year of the vacant term. A special election will be held in 2018. 

Also on Tuesday night villagers in Hoosick Falls elected Rob Allen, who ran unopposed, to serve as mayor. Mayor David Borge did not seek re-election.

The Rensselaer County community that has struggled with contaminated water sources is currently in negotiations with companies Saint-Gobain and Honeywell to secure funding to reimburse the village for costs incurred. 

Allen, a music teacher at Hoosick Falls High School and a vocal opponent of a settlement offer between the companies and the village, says his main priority is bringing truth about the contamination to the public.

“As we tackle the PFOA situation, as we tackle the negotiating with Saint-Gobain and Honeywell, as we look into the John Street situation with Honeywell, that’s sort of priority number one for me, is getting the information out there,” said Allen. “Now, obviously, you can’t share everything, especially the negotiation process, but just the fact that people feel like they know what’s going on, I think is going to speak volumes and help people to relax and know that we’re looking into this and taking care of it.”

The Village of Altamont in Albany County also has a new mayor. Village trustee Kerry Dineen ran unopposed and will serve for four years as the community’s first female mayor.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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