Town board, clerk positions on ballot in Whitehall

L ocal voters will head to the polls Tuesday to determine the fate of three contested races.

Despite the fact that George Armstrong and Louis Pratt are running unopposed for the positions of town supervisor and highway superintendent, respectively, there is still plenty of intrigue in next week’s town-wide elections.

Democrat Jim Putorti and Republicans Stephanie Safka and Farrell Prefountaine will vie for two seats on the town council.

Both Putorti and Prefountaine are incumbents while Safka is running for political office for the first time.

Putorti has served on the town board for the past three years and has been very active with the Skenesborough Volunteer Fire Company, filling several leadership roles within the organization, including as its current president.

Prefountaine has participated in local government for the better part of the past three decades. He has battled a series of health ailments over the past several months that prevented from being an active member of the town council, but has seen a steady return to health and seeks to continue his involvement with another term.

Safka is a relative newcomer to the political arena but has a wealth of experience with other organizations.

She serves on the board of directors for the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce, is a past president of the Washington County Tourism Association and the Hudson Falls/Kingsbury Chamber of Commerce.

She is also a past member of the Washington County Recycling Advisory Board and the Washington County Development Committee.

It had been reported previously that Robert Putorti Sr. was running for a seat on the town council but since removed his name from consideration.

The other contested race pits current town clerk Elaine Senecal Jones against former town clerk Julie Millet.

Both candidates have experience as town clerk providing votes with an intriguing choice on Election Day.

Millet served as town clerk for two years from Jan. 2008 to Jan. 2010 before stepping down to care for her mother who has since passed away.

Jones has served as town clerk since Millet stepped down nearly two years. 

Millet has pledged to extend town clerk hours Monday through Friday and has expressed interest in creating a municipal town website.

Jones plans to continue to update and streamline the town’s record keeping if she is reelected.

The other offices up for election-town supervisor and highway superintendent –are both uncontested.

Robert Juckett had thrown his name in the fray for highway superintendent but he dropped out after receiving a new job opportunity.

That means Pratt, who has served as highway superintendent for the past three years, will almost assuredly serve another term.

Armstrong, a former town councilman and current school board member, will replace current supervisor Richard “Geezer” Gordon, who declined to seek another term.

Running unopposed has allowed Armstrong to attend a number of meetings on both the local and county level, which should help make his transition that much easier.

At the top of his priorities is overseeing the town’s proposed move from the Canal Corp. Visitor’s Center to the Skenesborough Volunteer Fire Company and providing opportunities for new businesses to come to Whitehall.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Voters in district one through four can cast their ballots at the Skenesborough Volunteer Fire House while voters in district five will vote at the town garage on Route 4.

 

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