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Village Voters Head to the Polls on Wed., Mar. 18

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   Voters in the Villages of Florida, Greenwood Lake, and Warwick will head to the polls on Wed., Mar. 18. The Warwick Valley Dispatch invited all candidates to submit profiles for publication in this special election issue. Candidates were asked to submit a 500-word profile about themselves.

Village of Warwick 

        The only contested race this year is for Village of Warwick Trustee with four candidates on the ballot running for two seats on the Board for four-year terms. They are: Corey Bachman, Barry Cheney (incumbent), Alfonso Gonnella and Stephen Kitar. Mary Collura, who is not listed on the ballot, is running as a “write-in” candidate.  Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Goodwill Hook & Ladder Co., located at 25 Church St., Ext. in Warwick.

Candidate Profiles  for Village of Warwick Trustees

Corey Bachman          

              Corey BachmanI’m ready to serve as a Trustee of the Village of Warwick. Over the next four years, I’ll work to upgrade our stressed infrastructure, increase downtown sustainability efforts, propose a business district marketing model, enhance facilities for all residents at our existing parks and encourage cooperation among municipalities to improve efficiency and streamline services. I’ll be a voice for action on the Village Board.

         Throughout outgoing Trustee Eileen Patterson’s 12-year tenure on the Board, she’s been tough, thorough and unwavering in her commitment to the community. As she’s decided not to run for re-election, I’m grateful to Eileen for endorsing me to fill her seat. The Village of Warwick is more than Victorian homes and scenic scenes of rural life. It’s a unique and special place. I’m running to protect and preserve our Village’s landmarks, neighborhoods and character.

     This new decade will require new ideas, skills and faces to address the needs of our changing community. We need to bolster our efforts to keep the historical integrity and heritage of our Village intact. We must further our commitment to thoughtful and strategic business and housing development. Our boards should allow for more transparency throughout the planning process to facilitate input from residents. We also need to ensure the infrastructure that is already in place can handle these proposed projects. If left unchecked, large-scale commercial and residential expansion will change our open spaces and gateways into our Village.

     Electing leaders from different generations who think hyper-local will foster the vision of our comprehensive plan over time. I’ve volunteered to assist the Comprehensive Plan Committee (CPC) with reviewing the NYStretch Energy Code-2020. This code would reduce operating costs, energy consumption and pass on savings to taxpayers. As an elected Trustee, I’d use my background and experience to serve and support each stakeholder.

     I’ve lived in our Village for the past three years and already become an active volunteer for the Warwick Lions Club, the Warwick Historical Society, Sustainable Warwick and the Town of Warwick’s Friendly Visitor Program. I’m honest, passionate and committed to improving the way of life for all who call our Village home.

      Throughout this campaign, I’ve knocked on hundreds of doors in our Village to hear from residents about the issues that matter to them. I’m the candidate for the Village Voice Party and ask for your vote on Wed., Mar. 18. With our busy schedules, not every resident can attend the evening board meetings. I hope to be your voice at Village Hall — where decisions are made that will directly affect your quality of life, your family and our future.

      Election Day is Wed., Mar. 18. The polling location is Goodwill Hook & Ladder Company at 25 Church St. Extension. Polls are open for village residents from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Barry Cheney

  Barry Cheney    I am seeking reelection as Village Trustee to continue to support the ongoing efforts to maintain and improve our water, sewer and street infrastructure using my career experience gained from 39 years as an environmental engineer.  I have resided in the Village for over 40 years living in three different neighborhoods.

      Examples of how my career skills and experience are valuable include personally coordinating the Health Department’s annual inspection of the water system and compiling the Annual Water Quality Report. I wrote the bid document to procure the operator for our Water and Wastewater systems and prepare regulatory documents and reports all of which would otherwise require paid outside support.

    I recently initiated and directed a successful grant application resulting in the Village receiving over $250,000 to purchase property in the reservoir watershed to further protect that critical asset. I previously negotiated a technical settlement with NYSDEC which reduced a potential penalty from $160,000 to $10,000 and continue to negotiate other actions with regulatory agencies.

    In the last four years the Village has moved forward with improvements to our aging infrastructure by doing the following:

     Investment in ongoing improvements to our facilities while controlling costs and stabilizing rate increases through diligent capital and maintenance planning.

    Technology and capacity upgrades to the Village’s Wastewater treatment plant that will serve us for the next 30 years. This $12,000,000 investment will in part be offset by a $3,000,000 grant and supported by a low interest loan reducing costs to taxpayers.

    Commence a Water Storage Tank Replacement program that will provide a lower maintenance cost solution that has a tank life expectancy of 60+ years and also reduce the number of tanks – a sound investment in the future.

    Returning Well #3 to service through the installation of a required treatment system making our entire water system more robust, resilient and more immune to drought.

     Other accomplishments in my time on the Board include: Responded to and recovered from damages incurred from Hurricane Irene and TS Lee which required rebuilding the Parkway culvert and major repairs to the Upper Reservoir Dam; Brought the water system from a “poor performance” status to one which receives very positive annual regulatory reviews; Conducted Leak Detection surveys that located and repaired 70,000,000 gallons of water loss; and Instituted a GIS-based Asset Management System for infrastructure.

    My goals for the next four years in addition to the ongoing efforts mentioned previously include replacing our streetlights with LED technology at no additional cost, completing an update to the Comprehensive Management Plan and implementing directed changes to our zoning, which reflects our future vision.

     It has been an honor to serve these past twelve years as a Trustee on your behalf. I promise to be diligent in addressing the needs of the Village including taxes, spending, economic vitality, infrastructure and seeing that the Village is operated using sound business principles. I remain always willing to listen to your concerns and get you the answers you seek.

Mary Collura

MaryCollura     I grew up in the hamlet of Edenville. My parents moved to Warwick in 1969 from the Bronx, NY. In 1971, my dad became an active member of local conservation and environmental groups. He spearheaded a town-wide open space inventory in a grass roots effort to preserve open space. As a surveyor, he volunteered his skills and time. My mom was an active member at St. Stephens-St. Edwards Church and a beloved teacher’s aide at the school.

      I am the youngest of four girls. We all attended St. Stephens and John S. Burke H.S.  I obtained my Associates Degree at SUNY Orange and continued my education at SUNY Fredonia, where I received my BS in Communication with a concentration on Documentary Film.

    I attended Shilling School in Manhattan for Graphic Design. My college education was based on the study of communication, information exchange, meaning, the developing of relationships, and how messages are received and interpreted. Studying documentary film required a comprehensive understanding of ethics and launched my love of storytelling.

    My unique and diverse background has given me a strong foundation and useful skill sets. I have been involved in local activities either as a paid contributor or volunteer.      Some of these include: Videographer of Village of Warwick and Florida meetings; Creative Director, Warwick Village Sesquicentennial (over 70 events in one year); Warwick Community Center’s Olde Time Family Fourth; Warwick Village’s Bicycle Parade; Warwick Coalition Winter Blues Festival; Scare the Mayor Contest; Playground Dreams Community Build; Hispanic Heritage Celebration; G.L. Halloween Festival; Apple Eve; and G.L. Skatepark Polar Plunge.

     I was raised with a strong value in stewardship.  This is something that I still strongly believe in and strive for every day. As the only woman running, I bring diversity to a Village Board that represents a diverse community. My skill sets and sensibilities are hard to come by and much needed at this time. As the Village begins the process of reviewing and updating the Comprehensive Master Plan, I would like to serve as the liaison between residents and Village government.

     I have the experience, skills and knowledge that is both needed and essential in the ability to be open, all-inclusive and unbiased during this critically important process of creating a blue print for our future.  We need someone familiar with our past to create a document that dictates our future.  This is not the time or the place for on the job training.  I have been here for nearly forty years.

     A vote for me is a vote for the best interest in the Village of Warwick’s future. Born and raised in Warwick, I understand the dynamics of our village. I have the capability to make non-partisan decisions on what truly can benefit us. Unfortunately, the validity of my petition was challenged. Due to technical errors based on my political inexperience, my name will not appear on the ballot. However, I am still in the running. You can still vote for me, the only female candidate. You must print my name in the designated space on the ballot.

Alfonso Gonnella

        I am running for the seat of a Village Trustee. I have resided in Warwick for over 20 years, first moving in here 1995. I am a local business owner and throughout my years of operating it, I was fortunate to meet many residents and develop strong ties with the community.

     My distanced presence in this political race is solely due to my effort to keep my family far from the hardships of publicizing our lives. However, I am dedicated and motivated to our Village, our people, and our community.

     Along with Stephen Kitar, I am running on the GROW platform and am thrilled for the change that our movement will bring to the community. I hope we can count on your support.

Stephen Kitar

  Kitar  I have resided in Warwick for almost 20 years now and have raised my family and built my life in this beautiful community. I am running for the position of Village Trustee, but not as a political figure.

     I am running as a father who wants to build a better future for his children, as a builder who wants to contribute to a thriving community, but most importantly, I am running as a dedicated citizen who wants to see fairness, transparency and accountability govern over the Village of Warwick.

    As a father of four, I understand the need and the importance of maintaining a safe and trustworthy community where future generation’s can grow and prosper. I, firsthand, know the concerns and questions that every parent has whenever changes are implemented within our community.

    Our government needs to be comprised not of political cogs, but of representatives who directly and thoroughly understand and care for the needs of the residents.

    As a developer, I know that the Village will benefit from an influx of investments, tourist dollars, and additional services that our community is currently lacking, which would revitalize the local commerce, create local jobs while contributing to Warwick’s evolving vitality.

    I also know the difficulties of combing through the bureaucratic procedures that are preventing creative minds today from investing into their dreams, and into our community.

     As a business owner, I have had multiple projects that succeeded throughout the years that I have in the Village. In 2005, answering the need of the community that lost its beloved downtown grocery store, I opened Spring Street Market which was the first store in Warwick to feature locally grown, organic produce, and specialty items from local artisans and farmers.

      It was named The Best New Shop by the American Butcher’s Guild in 2006. I’ve helped bring our neighborhood to life, and built/renovated several buildings in the Village, including Ledo Cleaners, bringing the Hudson Valley’s longest running cleaners back to its historic glory. We were later given the Best Building Renovation Award by the Warwick Chamber of Commerce for our restoration work.

     I’d like nothing more than to take this experience – and my love for my community – and apply it to the role of Village of Warwick Trustee.

     I am running on the GROW platform – Growth Respectful of Warwick – which seems to be a balance that we never struck. Our focus is on improving the Village of Warwick together, with respect and reverence for all that makes this a wonderful and flourishing community.

     If you are ready for a change that will help our community progress and prosper, I invite you to join our GROW movement! We are counting on your support!

       Please come see us at GROW Headquarters at 20 Spring St., Suite #1.  I look forward to welcoming you personally. Or call us at (845) 988-GROW (as in Growth Respectful Of Warwick) and 988-BEST, (what is BEST for our Village).

Village of Florida 

         In the Village of Florida, Mayor Daniel Harter, Jr. is seeking to be reelected into office for a three-year term. He is running unopposed. Also running unopposed are incumbent Trustees, Thomas Fuller and Craig Olejniczak, for the two Trustee seats, which are also three year terms. Voting will take place at the Senior Citizen’s Center, located on Cohen Cir. in the Village of Florida, from 12 noon to 9 p.m.

Candidate Profile for Village of Florida Mayor 

Daniel Harter, Jr.

Maryor Dan Harter_1     I am running for re-election as Mayor of the Village of Florida. As I look back on my first term, it is a time to assess where we started, where we are, and where I hope to lead the Village going forward if re-elected. The Village is faced with several challenges as we grow. The Hudson Valley as a whole draws commuters and tourists to and from our Village daily. This growth will only become more of a factor when larger industry and entertainment attractions open in surrounding areas.

    We must adapt by welcoming visitors and accommodating growth yet still retaining Florida’s small-town America feel. We are meeting this challenge by revising our comprehensive plan along with using more policies and tools at our disposal to tackle traffic problems, especially speeding.

     Shortly after taking office, it was discovered that our water plant was long overdue for several upgrades needed to provide you with water that not only meets New York water standards but exceeds them. Under new management, the water plant is being improved and the water quality levels are increasing to acceptable readings. We have secured a $3 million grant through New York State to continue upgrades and, as I write, these engineers are conducting tests to determine the best option going forward for our water treatment procedure. Our goal is to have design plans presented this year and in 2021 make the necessary changes to the plant.

Fiscal responsibility and transparency with your tax dollars has been paramount under my administration. The Village now has a procurement policy in place to ensure that any tax dollars spent are done so in a responsible manner. I authorized an internal audit to go through village hall to evaluate and account that your tax dollars are being handled responsibly and accurately. We are the first local government in our area to have also signed an agreement with a third party group. ClearGov, to show online, you the voter and taxpayer, the ability to see where your tax dollars go within each department in village government.

Going forward I will work with our neighboring towns and villages to increase shared services between our municipalities to help ease tax burdens and reduce costs. Over the past two years it has been my honor to serve the Village of Florida as your mayor. On March 18th I hope you will vote for me so that together we can continue going forward with the bright future and possibilities ahead of us.

  Candidate Profiles for Village of Florida Trustees

Thomas Fuller

Thomas Fuller    Election time has come once again, and I am asking for your support to be re-elected to the office of Trustee in the Village of Florida. I now serve as Deputy Mayor, liaison to the Police Department and Village Court. I am also the Emergency Manager for the Village. I feel you need seasoned people working for you to balance the scales between maintaining and improving the level of service our Village provides while keeping our budget balanced and reasonable.

   My wife, Rosalie, and I have raised three children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild is due in April. I have been involved in numerous community and civic minded organization over the years. I managed the Mets little league team, coached modified soccer and baseball for S.S. Seward. I am a forty-year member of the Florida Fire Department.  I was a part-time Police officer for the Village and served on the Planning board.

    Being retired, I have more time to spend in and around our Village. I stop by the Village office and Police Department daily to see how things are going. If something does arise, I’m right there to lend a hand if needed.

   Please come out and support me on Wed., Mar. 18 at the Florida Senior Center, located on Cohen Cir., from 12 noon to 9 p.m.

Craig Olejniczak

Craig Olejniczak I am running for the position of Trustee in the Village of Florida. I am a graduate of S.S. Seward class of 1991 and have been a Village resident all my life. My wife, Amanda Larie, and I have two young boys, Stanislaw and Conrad.  I hold a degree in Economics/Pre-Med from the University at Albany and a M.S. degree in Sports Medicine/Exercise Science from Long Island University/Brooklyn Campus. I am currently employed with the Enlarged City School District of Middletown, as a Certified Athletic Trainer.

I was first elected into office of Trustee, in March 2012. The departments of Youth Recreation, Building and Planning, and Animal Control have been appointed to me over the last eight years. I have maintained consistent improvements to our Summer Recreation Program and increases to the Recreation Grant Funds that are available every year. These programs employ many of the local high school and college students each summer.

     I am excited to have our LED Street Light conversion project completed this year, and I will continue to pursue opportunities for renewable energy projects in the Village. I look ahead to focus on our Comprehensive Master Plan for the Village of Florida. The Village Board and I continue to support the growth and enhancement to the business district, with plans to add parking.  I will continue to support updates to the building codes to match our progress. I will work with all of our local boards and interested community members, so that everyone’s goals are considered. I will also strive to expand and improve our local parks and recreation areas.

     Most important to the future of the Village, is our drinking water. The Water Treatment Plant project is fully underway. Experience and fiscal responsibility will be integral to the success of new upgrades and the potential construction of a new plant. I will exercise solid oversight at each stage.

     Finally, I am proud to see all the positive changes in our Village. I would like to encourage all Village of Florida residents to exercise their right to vote in this election on Mar. 18. I appreciate your support, as your vote is a way to communicate your voice.

Village of Greenwood Lake 

           In the Village of Greenwood Lake, incumbent Trustees Katheleen Holder and Chad Sellier are seeking reelection unchallenged for a two-year term.      Polls will be open from 12 noon to 9 p.m. at the Greenwood Lake Senior Center, located at 132 Windermere Ave. in the Village of Greenwood Lake.

  Candidate Profiles for Village of Greenwood Lake Trustees

Katheleen Holder

Katheleen HolderI have lived in the Village of Greenwood Lake for over 46 years. I have been married to my husband Tommy for almost 20 years; we have three beautiful sons Kevin, 17, Joseph, 15, and Dennis, 12.

I was born and raised in the Village of Greenwood Lake. I moved to Virginia Beach, VA in 1999 where I lived with my husband for two years while he was serving in the United States Navy. In 2001 we moved back to Greenwood Lake to raise our family.

I am a graduate of the Greenwood Lake School District. I have an Associates degree from Orange County Community College in Sales and Marketing Management. I have worked in many different fields as a project manager for over 20 years, and I am currently employed as an Office Manager for a local restaurant.

I volunteer my time for many organizations within the Greenwood Lake Community. The current positions that I hold are the Treasurer of the Greenwood Lake Soccer Club as well as head coach to our U13 travel team. I was the Committee Chair and Den leader for Greenwood Lake Cub Scout Pack 121 for five years. I am currently a committee member for Boy Scout Troop 121 for over five years.  I am President of the Greenwood Lake Gaelic Cultural Society and volunteer my time when needed to other community organizations. My family attends Holy Rosary Church.

    It is very important for the Village government as well as the community as a whole to support our local businesses. The local businesses within Greenwood Lake have always given back to this great community.  While working with the Village government I hope to make it more appealing for new businesses to want to open within the village.

    In addition to maintaining the quality of our beautiful lake and village, we need to keep it accessible to our residents and tourists. In these economic times I will continue to work with the Village Board in obtaining grants for projects like the our sidewalk projects as well as other projects in building up this beautiful Village.

    As a Village Trustee I have worked as liaison to the G. L. School District, Library, Chamber of Commerce, Recreation including Health and Wellness, as well as the coordinator of the use of our Community Center. For the past six years I have coordinated our Summer Concert Series, Zumba, Yoga and other events at the Thomas Morahan Waterfront Park and within the Village. I am proud of what the Village Board has accomplished during my time as Village Trustee.  If elected, I hope to work with our Village Board in accomplishing additional constructive avenues for our youth, as well as coming up with new ideas to drive tourism to our area. I will work hard representing the village as a whole and making sure the Village Board makes good decisions to make Greenwood Lake a beautiful place to live while being fiscally responsible to tax payers.

Chad Sellier

Chad Profile PicI am seeking re-election and a fourth consecutive two-year term as Village Trustee to continue to serve our community with passion, integrity, sound judgment, and a focus on delivering results.

During my third term as Village Trustee, I worked closely with my fellow members of the Village Board, and with the Mayor, to ensure that the past three adopted budgets did not exceed the New York State mandated Tax Cap without negatively impacting our existing levels of service to the community. I also continued to support a lake management plan that has maintained the arms of our beautiful lake, which had become overrun with algae; endorsed the repair, as well as the addition, of sidewalks along Windermere Avenue and the installation of new sidewalks connecting the new firehouse to the center of the village; and supported funding to keep intact, and in some cases strengthen, valued community programs.

As the President and Chair of The Greenwood Lake Bark Park, a nonprofit charitable organization that built out and manages the day-to-day operations of the Village’s first fenced in, off-leash Dog Park, we have entered our fifth year of operation in a strong, sustainable position.

The citizens of Greenwood Lake can expect me to continue to approach the job with the following mindset:

      Pro Community – maintaining and enhancing both the tangible community, which is our environment consisting of our lake, beach, trails, parks, and ball fields, and the intangible which is enhancing our sense of community, those things which increase the thread count of our social fabric.

      Pro Youth Development – supporting activities, events and programs that aid our youth in developing the life skills necessary to be productive in our society and successful in their career path.

      Pro Business & Investment – supporting programs which foster a positive economic cycle of business expansion, job creation, and spending in our local economy.

    My family, which includes my wife of 22 years and my 12-year-old daughter, has called Greenwood Lake our home for the past eleven years.  I have been a Village Trustee for the past six years serving as the Liaison to the Planning Board, ZBA, Comprehensive Planning Committee, and Economic Development. I am the President and Chair of The Greenwood Lake Bark Park, Inc. I am a member of the Greenwood Lake Chamber of Commerce, the Greenwood Lake Elks Lodge, and continue to be involved with many of Greenwood Lake’s local organizations.

    I have a BA in Economics from Baruch College and a MBA from Mercy College.  I have spent 22 years in the banking and brokerage industry in operations, administration, and project management.

     I ask that you exercise your right to vote on Wed., Mar. 18, and re-elect me, Chad T. Sellier, as Greenwood Lake Village Trustee, to allow me to continue the work of making Greenwood Lake a great place to live.

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