Story by Katie Bisaro
Although her term on the Village Board of Trustees was unexpectedly extended by more than a month, Mayor Michael Newhard acknowledged the hard work and dedication of outgoing Trustee Eileen Patterson at the last Village Board meeting.
All New York State village elections that were slated to take place on Wed., Mar. 18 were postponed until Tues., Apr. 28 by an executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo in light of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis.
Patterson was first elected to the Village Board in 2006 and served 12 of the next 14 years. During her first term, she also served as Deputy Mayor. Patterson took a two-year hiatus from the board before being elected once again in 2012 and served two more terms.
Patterson said she learned a great deal as a Trustee with the belief that “there is no such thing as a stupid question.” She also feels that her work in the Village instilled a “sense of community and volunteerism” in her children, two of whom are now grown and one who is in high school.
At the meeting on Mon., Mar. 16, Mayor Michael Newhard presented Patterson with a gift – a framed photo from the Orange County Fireman’s Parade last fall of the American flag hung across Main St. between two ladder trucks in front of Village Hall. Newhard commended Patterson for her work in the Village.
“On behalf of the residents of the Village, I want to say thank you. We’ve all been through a lot together; we’ve had great challenges and we’ve gotten through. I think the proof of our work is this incredible Village and I can’t thank you enough,” Newhard stated as he presented Patterson with her gift.
There are two positions on the Village Board up for election this year on the new date in April. In addition to Patterson’s seat, Trustee Barry Cheney’s position is also open. Cheney is running again as the incumbent.
Three other candidates are also running: Corey Bachman, Alphonso Gonnella and Steve Kitar. A write-in campaign is being run by Mary Collura whose candidacy was disqualified by the Orange County Board of Elections due to lack of enough valid signatures on her candidate petitions.
For her part, Patterson is proud of the work she accomplished on behalf of the Village during her tenure on the Board, especially her role as part of the group that updated the zoning document.
“That was a big project that laid the foundation for the vibrancy and diversity in our business district. We created better opportunities for small businesses to get started and for folks who wanted to have an at-home business in Warwick,” said Patterson.