Schenectady County

Election results finalized; changes coming in Rotterdam, Princetown

Absentee ballot counts were released Wednesday, along with final vote tallies from the Nov. 3 electi
Rotterdam Town Supervisor candidate Steven Tommasone makes his opening statement with opponant Yvonne Cleveland during a candidate forum sponsored by the Schenectady League of Women Voters at Rotterdam Town Hall Tuesday, October 20, 2015.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Rotterdam Town Supervisor candidate Steven Tommasone makes his opening statement with opponant Yvonne Cleveland during a candidate forum sponsored by the Schenectady League of Women Voters at Rotterdam Town Hall Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

Absentee ballot counts were released Wednesday, along with final vote tallies from the Nov. 3 election.

The official tallies didn’t change the results of any races in Schenectady County, but confirmed the coming change in political power and leadership in two towns: Rotterdam and Princetown.

After more than a year of compromise and split votes with only four members, the open seats on Rotterdam’s Town Board were filled by Conservative Evan Christou and Democrat Samantha Miller-Herrera.

Michael Viscusi resigned from his position on the Town Board in October 2014, creating the deadlock.

“No one was ever appointed to the seat because we were split on the decision,” said Town Supervisor Harry Buffardi. “We often had votes that were two on one side and two on the other, which could be a headache, but it caused us to have to negotiate on things.”

Republican Councilmen Joseph Villano and Rick Larmour currently hold seats on the board.

Buffardi and current Deputy Supervisor Wayne Calder, both Democrats, did not seek re-election.

Steven Tommasone, who served as town supervisor from 2006 to 2009, was elected on the Democratic line to return to that position Jan. 1 with a total of 3,635 votes, or about a 400-vote lead over Yvonne Cleveland.

He said the board has been split by political lines recently, but as a registered Independent, he hopes to change that.

“Party affiliation should be of the least consideration for why or why not things move ahead in Rotterdam,” Tommasone said Wednesday. “Instead of party lines, I hope we are able to focus on the issues for the betterment of the community. Evan is an enrolled Conservative and Samantha a Democrat, but all three of us are coming in as a team — not a divider.

“We are aiming to work together to unify the board and town regardless of political stripe, and get Rotterdam moving ahead with solutions to last decades, not one political term,” he added.

In Princetown, Councilman Robert Myers, a Republican, won the town supervisor race by more than 80 votes after serving on the board for 12 years.

He defeated incumbent Michael Joyce, who ran on the Independent line and received 312 votes.

Republican Susan Shafer will replace Councilman Joseph Jurczynski, who was endorsed by the Independent Party.

Louis Esposito, who ran on the Democrat, Republican and Conservative ballots, will retain his seat on the board for another term.

Myers said the board has been divided into the “north and the south” parts of town for quite some time.

Joyce, Shafer and Jurczynski ran together on one side, Myers said, while he, Esposito and Nicholas Maura Jr. ran together on the other.

“People didn’t like the direction he was taking us,” Myers said of current supervisor Joyce. “They call themselves ‘Republican’ but we call them ‘RINOs’ or ‘Republicans In Name Only.’”

“Out of the 12 years I’ve been on the board, the last three or four years have been the toughest,” Myers continued. “The voters came out, and what they want has shone through.”

“We’ve been split for some time, but I’m pretty sure they’ll be united now,” Joyce said of the board’s new leadership Wednesday. “I’m sure they’ll do the best they can do.”

Myers said he is eager to address prevalent issues in town, including amending zoning restrictions on property owners.

“It’s a new endeavor, but we’ve got a lot of support,” Myers said. “There seems to be a lot of animosity and tension in town, and we’d like to eliminate that and bring our people back together. We’re a small country town, and we’re looking forward to being unified again.”

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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