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Athens village races too close to call

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    Natasha Law
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    Vincent Seeley
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    C-GM file photoCoxsackie Mayor Mark Evans speaks at a village board meeting in March 2017.
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    Contributed photoLee McGunnigle
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    David Kashman
March 20, 2019 05:00 pm Updated: March 21, 2019 08:40 am

One Greene County village has a race that was too close to call after hundreds went to the polls Tuesday to elect officials.

The village of Athens’ race will come down to the counting of 46 absentee ballots. Greene County Board of Elections officials plan to count the ballots at 10 a.m. today and finalize the results.

Polls were open Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Results were posted after polls closed by the village of Hunter and the Greene County Board of Elections.


With 46 absentee ballots to count in Athens, any candidate could come out on top.

Mayor Peter Alberti, a Republican, received 218 votes Tuesday. Trustee Stephan Bradicich, who ran on the Democratic and Independence party lines, received 210 votes.

Mayoral candidate Norman Benjamin Jr., who ran on the Norman Benjamin line, received 24 votes.

Tuesday was Alberti’s fourth time running.

“I know which party has the absentees,” Alberti said. “It seems most Democrats are only voting Democrat because they are angry with the way national politics are going. That was the feeling we were getting when were going door-to-door.”

Residents shouldn’t let national politics influence who to vote for on the local level, Alberti said.

“If you think federal politicians don’t get anything done, the same thing will happen at the local level if we play that game,” he added.

Bradicich could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

The race for trustee is just as tight: Republican Robert Scott received 244 votes while fellow Republican Shannon Spinner received 220 votes.

Candidate Joshua Lipsman, who ran on the Democratic and Independence party lines, received 213 votes. Residents gave Amy Serrago, who also appeared on the Democratic and Independence tickets, 209 votes.

“I think Athens is a wonderful place to serve, and if elected, I am really looking forward to being on the village board of trustees,” Lipsman said. “The vote is very close. I enjoyed the heck out of campaigning and if elected, I’ll look forward to eagerly serving this wonderful village.”

Serrago remains hopeful she could finish with a victory.

“We’ve got a nail-biter,” she said. “I’m really proud of the effort we put forward. I met a lot of neighbors I didn’t know and had conversations with neighbors I did know that were enlightening. I’m looking forward to serving the village, even if I’m not on the board.”

Scott thanked everyone who supported him for village trustee.

“I appreciate everybody who supported myself and my running mate [Spinner],” Scott said. “The numbers are very tight, but whatever happens, happens. I’m feeling pretty good. We worked very hard and it was a good, clean race between our team and the Democratic team. We’ll see what happens.”

Spinner could not be immediately reached for comment.


The Catskill Village Board of Trustees will have a familiar face and a new addition.

Democrat Natasha Law was elected to her first term with 356 votes. Incumbent Democrat Vincent Seeley, who serves as the village president, was re-elected to another three-year term with 355 votes. Seeley and Law ran on the Independence Party ticket.

Incumbent Stanley Dushane and Daniel Shanley Jr. appeared on the ballot on the Republican and Constitution party lines. Dushane got 225 votes and Shanley received 210 votes.

Greene County Board of Elections officials have 145 absentee ballots to count for Catskill.

“I’m very surprised,” Law said of her pending victory. “I’m ready to work. I’m hoping to maybe clean up the streets and buildings in general and to consolidate the non-for-profit businesses in the community to have more profitable and taxpaying businesses in the village.

“I’m going to work a lot with Cultivate Catskill to help make the streets more beautified.”

Seeley could not be reached for comment.


Coxsackie’s unopposed village races were just about over before polls opened Tuesday.

Republican Mayor Mark Evans was elected to his sixth two-year term with 114 votes. Sixteen absentee ballots for Coxsackie will be counted this morning.

“I’m very thankful that the voters of the village have seen the substantial progress and the infrastructure progress we’ve made over the last 10 years,” Evans said.

In his next term, Evans plans to focus on an upgrade to the village’s sewer plant, which is slated to begin this summer, as well as a $3 million grant to install a water tank near the plant. A new playground at McQuade Park is also set to open in a few weeks, the mayor said.

“Those are very much-needed projects for the community,” Evans said. “People see real things that we’re doing that are benefiting them and the village. We’ve put in a lot of sidewalks over the last couple of years and connected parts of the village that weren’t connected before.

“People are really seeing their tax dollars at work.”

Incumbents Donald Daoust and Stephen Hanse were re-elected to two-year terms. Hanse, a Republican, got 105 votes while Daoust, a Democrat, got 80.

“It’s a privilege for me to serve on the village board as a resident of Coxsackie for 25 years,” Hanse said Wednesday. “My priorities are protecting and really enhancing our quality of life while really ensuring that we provide the best services at the lowest cost.”

During his next term, Hanse hopes to focus on expanding the community’s sidewalks and keeping taxes low.

“Over the last several years, we’ve had zero percent increases,” he said. “We’re reducing our water rates now, which speaks to an efficient and effective way of protecting the taxpayer. I love our community and I love our village and I’m thankful for the opportunity to give back.”


Voters in the village of Hunter elected political newcomer Anita Ayres to the board of trustees.

Ayres secured her spot on the board with 81 votes. She ran on the Pro Party line, which she named after the Pro Ski and Ride, which she and her husband Keith have owned and operated for 25 years on Main Street in Hunter.

Ayres ran against Guy Chirico, who ran on the Liveable Village Party line. He received 30 votes.

One voter submitted a write-in ballot for Geraldine Marino for the trustee seat. The village received three absentee ballots, which were counted Tuesday night.

Ayres is excited to work with Mayor Alan Higgins and the rest of the board.

“I’m looking forward to getting in there and discussing how we can improve ourselves and what our priorities are in the community,” Ayres said Wednesday. “I’m glad the people in the community have the confidence in me!”

The incoming trustee is looking to address the village’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges, as well as watershed projects in the coming months, she said.

“We’re looking to get those projects done in a reasonable way,” Ayres said. “We plan to look for grant money or other outside money, maybe some capital funding to do some projects in the village itself and draw some more commerce into the village.”


Village trustees in Tannersville were elected in a close race Tuesday.

Mayor Lee McGunnigle, who ran unopposed on the Democratic and Watchful Eye lines, was re-elected to his 12th two-year term Tuesday with 89 votes, and said he receives a high percentage of voters from all parties.

“I am tremendously grateful to my neighbors for giving me this vote of confidence,” McGunnigle said. “People have supported the work I’m doing and I’m very grateful to that. I’m doing my best to make this community better.”

During his next term, McGunnigle plans to work to improve the village’s infrastructure. He is planning an Earth Day celebration at Rip Van Winkle Lake for the last Sunday of April.

“People in office can help facilitate good work and I’m more motivated than ever,” McGunnigle said.

Four candidates ran for two vacant seats as village trustee.

Democrat David Kashman received the most votes with 74. Gregory Landers, who ran on the Democratic and Watchful Eye tickets, received 62 votes, making him and Kashman the victors for Tannersville village trustee.

Right Choice Party candidates Clifton Thompson and John Palermo Sr. received 49 and 22 votes, respectively.

The village has three absentee ballots, according to the Greene County Board of Elections.

Kashman, Landers, Thompson and Palermo could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.