Contests likely in 3 of 4 Mechanicville races
MECHANICVILLE The Republican and Democratic parties have endorsed candidates for elected city offices, with competition for three of four open seats.
In the city’s commission form of government, the mayor and three of four commissioners — finance, public safety and public works — are up for election. The accounts commissioner will go to a vote in 2015, as will the four-year county supervisor’s term.
Democrats announced this week they endorsed former finance commissioner Jim Peluso for mayor, political newcomer Jodie Gilheany for finance commissioner and incumbents Tim Hipwell and Dave Higgins for public safety and public works, respectively.
Republicans are backing retired police officer Dennis Baker for mayor, city Republican Committee Chairman Chris Boyark for finance and former local business owner Bea Timpanaro for public safety. The party does not have a public works candidate.
Democrats have been dominant politically in the old mill town for the last half-century or so, and currently make up 35.5 percent of the electorate, Republicans comprise 33.6 percent, and voters enrolled in third parties or with no party affiliation make up about 30.8 percent.
• Peluso was elected finance commissioner in 1981 and 1985 and then appointed in 2002 to fill a vacancy. A Vietnam veteran, he is a retired administrator for the state and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and now is state director of operations for Soldier On Inc.
• Baker works for DeVito-Salvadore Funeral Home in Mechanicville and is a retired city police officer and loss prevention manager for Hannaford Supermarkets. He is a member of the city Republican Committee and the Saratoga County Republican Committee and its executive committee. He ran an unsuccessful campaign for county supervisor in 2005.
• Boyark is a veteran of the Gulf War and works as a store manager for Hannoush Jewelers. He lost a bid for finance commissioner in 2005.
• Gilheany is a budget analyst for the Shenendehowa Central School District and was school treasurer before that.
• Hipwell seeks a second term in office. He is retired from GE/Momentive in Waterford and is a former Mechanicville fire chief.
• Timpanaro owned Joyce’s Log Cabin in Mechanicville and now works at Mechanicville Junior/Senior High School. This is her first bid for public office.
• Higgins, who at this point is unopposed, has more than 30 years’ experience in the construction business.