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Democrats sweep Scotia trustee races

Democrats sweep Scotia trustee races

It was a Democratic sweep in Scotia as two incumbents were returned to the Scotia Board of Trustees

It was a Democratic sweep in Scotia, as two incumbents were returned to the village Board of Trustees and a newcomer beat defeated a GOP incumbent.

Thomas Gifford and newcomer John Lockwood won election to four-year seats on the board. The two-year seat went to Rory Fluman, who had been appointed to the board by Mayor Kris Kastberg after trustee Cathy Gatta resigned last fall following her election to the Schenectady County Legislature.

The board will now be all Democrats as incumbent Republican Tom Neals was denied his bid for a second four-year term.

As the Democrats celebrated at Turf Tavern, Fluman said he is not sure whether turnout for the presidential election was a factor in giving the Democrats a boost locally. He said it was more about door-to-door campaigning. “I really feel that all three of the Democratic candidates talked to everybody,” he said.

Fluman added that party labels aren’t much of a factor in Scotia.

“We really don’t have partisan politics here in the village. There’s not going to be a skip in the beat of what we’re doing,” he said. “It’s a small enough board that we’ll all work together.”

Fluman, an occupational therapist, said he was excited to be able to represent younger families in the village. His top focus is staying under the tax cap as the board crafts its budget. “The village will be responsible with your taxes,” he said.

Fluman was successful in his second try for the Scotia Board of Trustees, a position that pays roughly $7,000 annually. Last November, he narrowly lost a special election against Tom Neals. Neals himself lost his re-election bid in 2010. However, Mayor Kris Kastberg reappointed Neals to the board in March 2011 following the resignation of Andrew Kohout, who left to become head of the public works department.

It was also Lockwood’s second try for elected office after he lost a race for Glenville Town Board last year.

Lockwood, deputy county attorney for Schenectady County, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Tuesday but said during the campaign that he wanted to encourage young professionals and families to move into the village, perhaps through a housing marketing program like Schenectady’s Key to the City.

Gifford, who works in a title search business, said during the campaign he wanted to continue the village’s efforts to maintain its quality of life. He also wanted to try to restart efforts at finding a new facility to house the fire and police departments and village hall.

GOP candidates Keven Mathes and David Lindsay were unsuccessful in their bids for elected office.

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