Village elections on Tuesday

V illage residents will have the choice of four candidates for two village trustee seats during Tuesday’s election.

The field includes two incumbents, a former town councilman, and a retired correctional officer who has been involved with a number of civic groups.

The candidates are Republicans Ken Bartholomew and Ron Rushia and Democrats Walt Sandford and Jim Putorti. Sandford and Bartholomew are incumbents and will each be seeking their third term in office. Both were elected in 2008 and reelected in 2010.

Bartholomew is an active participant on the village board and is well-versed in the village sewer system and water treatment plant, having served as wastewater treatment commissioner the last four years.

He ran for village mayor last year but lost to Peter Telisky.

Sandford is the chief of police in Fort Edward and has served as commissioner of public safety, working closely with the Whitehall Police Department.

Putorti served as a town councilman for three years and ran an unsuccessful bid for re-election in November. He is also a member of the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company and served a number of leadership roles, including as president, for the Skenesborough Volunteer Fire Company before it dissolved earlier this year.

Rushia, who is retired from the Department of Corrections and the National Guard, is a political newcomer, but has previously served as American Legion commander and Youth League president.

Rushia attracted his fair share of attention in November of 2010 when he filed a complaint against four American Legion members for holding an illegal coin drop in the village. The charges against those men were dropped.

Whoever wins will join Telisky and trustees Marjorie Mohn and Michael LaChapelle, all Democrats, on the village board, and will have to combat a number of issues including a deteriorating canal wall on Williams Street and state-mandated repairs to the sewer system.

The village sewer system was designed with a combined sewer system for storm water and sewage and the state has mandated that two be separated. The estimated cost of those repairs has been tabbed at between $18 million and $24 million.

The new board may also have to decide whether they will consolidate some resources with the town. It has been suggested that the village and town could share the Skenesborough firehouse as a municipal center that would house both government seats, town and village courts and possibly the police department, but the village’s role in such a move has yet to be decided.

The new board will meet for the first time at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3. The regularly scheduled meeting on March 20 has been canceled because of the election.

Voting will take place at the former Skenesborough firehouse on Skenesborough Drive, and polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20.

Each term is for two years.

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