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Albion school budget reduces taxes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 April 2018 at 8:00 am

Shawn Liddle

ALBION – The Board of Education approved a 35,225,625 budget for 2018-19 on Monday evening, a spending plan that reduces taxes by 0.3 percent.

The budget will go before voters on May 15 from noon to 8 p.m. at the elementary school conference room A.

The budget reduces the tax levy by 25,845, from $8,474,939 to $8,449,094. The projected tax rate would decrease from $15.52 to $15.47 per $1,000 of assessed property.

The budget represents the 10th time in the past 12 years the district has either held the line in taxes or reduced them.

“The district has always been fiscally responsible,” said Margy Brown, president of the Board of Education.

The budget increases spending by 1.2 percent from $34,796,676 to $35,225,625. The district was able to cut taxes despite increases in salaries, benefits and an additional $100,000 for occupational and vocational programs through the Orleans/Niagara BOCES.

Albion is getting a boost in state aid. The district also paid off a bond last year and that reduced the district’s bond payment by $346,950. That drop in a bond payment saved the district 1 percent of its budget.

Albion’s enrollment continues to shrink, from the current 1,815 to a projected 1,776 in 2018-19. The district is planning to eliminate one teaching position in the elementary school, and half a secretary in administration.

Several staff are also retiring and they will be replaced with new hires at smaller salaries.

“It’s no small feat to continue the programs we do with our salary and benefits increases,” said Shawn Liddle, the district’s assistant superintendent for business.

The district will have a public hearing on the budget on May 8 at the LGI in the high school.

The vote on May 15 includes other propositions:

• Authorization to spend $490,000 from the Bus Purchase Reserve Fund to buy buses for the 2019-2020 school year. State aid covers about 90 percent of the costs for new buses, Liddle said.

• Authorization to create a Capital Reserve Fund with up to $7,195,000 with the funds going to school repairs and improvements.

“The proposition is permission to save, not permission to spend,” Liddle said.

The district could face another capital project in about five years, and setting aside funds in the next few years will allow Albion to have local funds saved for a future project.

• Authorization to collect $714,920 for Hoag Library, which is up 4.0 percent from the $687,211 in 2017-18.

• There are also two seats open on the nine-member Board of Education, with the positions currently filled by Margy Brown and Linda Weller up for election. The seats are for five-year terms. Petitions nominating candidates are due with the clerk of the district by 5 p.m. on April 16. Petitions must be signed by at least 25 qualified voters in the school district.

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Arbor Day event planned for April 27 at Mount Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 April 2018 at 1:23 pm

File photo: The sun shines through a row of trees near Route 31 at Mount Albion Cemetery in this photo from Nov. 5, 2016

ALBION – The Village of Albion is taking steps to become a Tree City USA Community. The village will be planting trees later this month and will hold an Arbor Day celebration on April 27 at Mount Albion Cemetery.

That 1 p.m. event will include speeches from County Historian Matt Ballard, and three students from Albion Central School. The students will help plant some of the new trees in the cemetery.

The village has received a $950 grant from the NYS Urban Forestry Council. The matching funds will help the village get started on becoming an official Tree City.

The village also is establishing a Tree Advisory Board to help plan tree plantings in the future.

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Albion girl, a cancer survivor, tackles life with lots of pep

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 April 2018 at 12:17 pm

‘I got this,’ Madison Muckle, 10, says before taking the basketball court

Photos by Tom Rivers: Madison Muckle, 10, played point guard and liked to match up against the other team’s best player on defense.

ALBION – Madison Muckle won’t back down from a challenge, whether it’s cancer or guarding the opposing team’s best basketball player. She also is determined to learn tap and jazz dance and stay on the honor roll.

“I got this,” Madison declared during a recent girls basketball game, when she was asked to play point guard and run the offense.

Madison, 10, is in fourth grade. She played in a travel girls basketball league for fifth- and sixth-graders. She was one of the smallest players on the court, but she emerged a fan favorite with her hustle and fearlessness.

“That Madison has moxie,” my wife told me after one of our games, when Madison chased down several loose balls.

I was the coach for Madison’s team. My daughter Lucy, a sixth-grader, also was on the team. Albion doesn’t have a third and fourth grade team, so we take some fourth-graders. Madison was one of two from fourth grade on the team. She asked her teammates to call her “M & M.”

I didn’t expect her to be such a sparkplug, to be so tenacious on defense and to drive to the basket so hard against players with significant size advantages. The running jumper became her go-to shot.

During a season-ending basketball tournament at Lyndonville on March 10, the opposing team’s coach picks a player from the other team to recognize for hustle. Madison won the award in one of our games.

Madison Muckle brings the ball up the court during a game in February against the powerful Wilson team.

I remembered Madison from a few years ago when she was battling cancer. Every August her father, Kevin Muckle, organizes the Madisonation golf tournament at Hickory Ridge in Holley. They tend to raise about $7,000 to $10,000 and donate to Camp Good Days, the Ronald McDonald House, the Make-A-Wish Foundation or other local families with a child fighting cancer.

“We try to give back to the people that helped us,” said Jaime Allport, Madison’s mother.

Provided photo: Madison shaved her head when her red hair started to fall out from chemo treatments.

There have now been seven Madisonation golf tournaments. Madison was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when she was 3 years old. The family received the diagnosis on Dec. 27, 2010.

Jaime Allport said her daughter was acting lethargic that December. A lack of pep was unusual for Madison. She had a double-ear infection and was limping around the house. Allport took her to the doctor, and Dr. Satya Sahukar insisted she go to Strong Memorial for more tests.

“Dr. Sahukar moved quickly on it,” Allport said. “We’re very thankful for him.”

On Dec. 27, doctors at Strong determined Madison had cancer and that started 2 ½ years of chemo and treatment, including nine blood transfusions, which Madison called her “Superhero Juice.”

In May 2011, she had her head shaved when her red hair started to fall out. She was bald for about a year.

“She said, ‘It’s just hair, it will grow back,’” her mother recalled.

Madison handled the cancer treatments with courage.

“She is my fighter,” Allport said. “She never gave up.”

Madison also was popular with the nurses and doctors, and made many friends among the other pediatric cancer patients.

“She loved her nurses and doctors,” Allport said. “The staff is amazing.”

The cancer treatments worked and Madison didn’t need a bone marrow transplant. She hasn’t had any side effects since finishing her treatments nearly five years ago.

Her grades are in the 90s, she takes many dance classes, and is a cheerleader, basketball player and is looking forward to the upcoming softball season. She also is a regular at her older brother’s games. Kyle Woolston, 14, plays football, basketball and baseball. When he was in Little League, Madison would run onto the field after a game and zip around the bases.

Madison Muckle is shown at a recent dance class in Albion. She takes several classes led by Rachael Blair at Spotlight Studio.

April 10, 2018 will be a big day for Madison and her family. That will be the five-year anniversary of her last chemo treatment. She hasn’t had any issues or relapses since then.

Allport knows other families haven’t been as fortunate. Many of the children in the hospital with Madison didn’t survive.

Madison, even at age 10, has set a career goal of becoming a doctor and working with children, helping them to overcome an illness.

“When she was going through it, it never phased her,” Allport said. “As she gets older, she realizes how serious it was.”

Allport said the 2 ½ years of fighting cancer has given her daughter plenty of toughness, and also made her more sensitive to others.

“She is definitely more outgoing from being in the hospital so much and meeting the other kids, and making friends,” Allport said. “She also has become very determined. She is strong.”

Madison’s father is working on the next Madisonation golf tournament in August. For information about the tournament, click here.

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Big tree topples in Albion, spares house and hitching post from damage

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 April 2018 at 5:45 pm

Provided photos

ALBION – A big tree came down today on East State Street at about 1:45 p.m., without hitting any houses. It also spared a historic hitching post from ruin, to the relief of homeowner Karen Manella.

She owns the house at 427 East State St. and enjoys the many historic features of Albion, including the hitching post and carriage step in front of her house.

“I like historical stuff,” Manella said. “I’m interested in history and the history of my hometown.”

The tree fell parallel to the street, and avoided the houses nearby. The tree was briefly on fire. Manila said her house wasn’t damaged except for the spots where utility wires were pulled from the house.

Powerful winds have knocked down many trees and power lines today, and tipped over tractor trailer trucks. A high-wind warning remains in effect until 11 p.m.

Photos by Tom Rivers

The tree pushed hitching post but didn’t break it. The tree landed on the carriage step, which has the name “T. Bell” carved in the block. Mr. Bell built the house in about 1870, Manella said.

The carriage step wasn’t damaged. Village of Albion Department of Public Works employees said the carriage step actually held a section of the tree up, making it easier to cut the tree into pieces.

The Village DPW worked this afternoon to clean up the fallen tree and remove it from the street. The DPW will work on removing more tree roots and reset the sidewalk and hitching post.

The village has many historic hitching posts and carriage steps, relics from the horse-and-buggy days more than a century ago. Albion may have more hitching posts and carriage steps than any other community.

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Eileen Banker takes the oath as new Albion mayor

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 April 2018 at 7:50 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Eileen Banker takes the oath of office today while her grandson, Connor Wlliams, holds the Bible. Linda Babcock, the village clerk/treasurer, administers the oath to Banker, who was elected on March 20.

Banker was previously on the board for eight years as a trustee. She succeeds Dean London, who didn’t seek re-election.

Eileen Banker smiles while her grandson, Connor Williams, holds the Bible and she says the oath of office.

Banker works as the chief of staff for Assemblyman Steve Hawley. She said the board will be especially busy the next month putting together the village’s budget for 2018-19.

Banker and the two other victors from last month’s village election – Stan Farone and Gary Katsanis for village trustees – were all sworn into office at 6 p.m. today. Then the Village Board held its organizational meeting and approved a list of appointments, including.

• Banker named Gary Katsanis as deputy mayor. She had served in that role the previous four years.

• Appointed Linda Babcock as village clerk/treasurer, registrar of vital records and the fair housing officer, all for two-year terms;

• Named Mary O’Sullivan as the deputy clerk/treasurer and deputy registrar of vital records;

• Reappointed John Gavenda as village attorney for two years;

• Named Christine Buongiorne to another five-year term on the Village Planning Board;

• Appointed Chris Kinter to a five-year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals;

• Named the following to the Recreation Committee: Carly Ward, Michael Beach, Terry Wilbert, Saul Harrison, Annette Finch and Bernie Baldwin;

• Appointed Kim Pritt to the Historic Preservation Commission;

• Elissa Nesbitt was appointed as the mayor’s representative to the Hoag Library board of directors;

• Named the following to the Grievance Committee: Carol Tibbits, Pam Davies and Lisa Hicken;

• Appointed Ron Vendetti to serve as the village’s disaster coordinator;

• Named The Daily News of Batavia as the official newspaper to carry legal notices;

• Set the mileage reimbursement rate at 50 cents.

(Editor’s Note: An earlier story had Kim Pritt as the mayor’s representative on the Hoag Library board. Elissa Nesbitt will serve in that role for the mayor.)

Stan Farone, a village trustee the past four years, signs the oath of office for a new four-year term.

Gary Katsanis says the oath. He was previously on the board and is returning after a two-year break. He and Farone were both elected as trustees on March 20.

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Albion, Holley students hear from community members about leadership

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 March 2018 at 10:28 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: PACT Founder and Pastor Tim Lindsay was among the panelists last Thursday during a leadership forum at Albion High School.  Clarendon Code Enforcement Officer Melissa Ierlan, left, and Michael Bonnewell, Albion school superintendent, also served on the panel, as well as two others. They addressed about 60 students from Albion and Holley.

ALBION – About 60 student leaders from Albion and Holley high schools heard from five community members last week on how they can make a positive impact on Orleans County and the country.

The students don’t need to wait until they are settled in careers to start making a mark on the community.

“The world is yours,” said Michael Bonnewell, the Albion school superintendent. “It is yours now, and it is yours to shape.”

Bonnewell was among the panel speakers during the Rotary Interact Leadership Seminar with a focus on “Service Above Self.” Bonnewell is the current president of the Albion Rotary Club.

Other speakers at the forum included Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower, Melissa Ierlan (Clarendon code enforcement officer, historian and Holley Board of Education member), Charlie Nesbitt (former State Assemblyman who remains active in several community projects), and the Rev. Tim Lindsay, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship and one of the leaders of PACT – Pastors Aligned for Community Transformation.

Lindsay has been a pastor in Albion since 1987. He urged students to be character driven in their lives, especially ages 16 to 26. Lindsay said the decisions made during this decade will affect the students’ trajectory in life.

“Live for something bigger than yourself,” Lindsay said. “You can leave a great legacy behind when you live for others and for something bigger than yourself.”

Sheriff Randy Bower urged students to have a strong moral compass.

Bower, the local sheriff, shared how he was paralyzed at age 18, four months after he graduated from Holley.  Bower was working a full-time job at the time as a line technician for a cable company.

On Oct. 10, 1983, he was driving home from a friend’s house at about midnight. He fell asleep at the wheel. Clarendon firefighters saved his life that night, Bower said.

He credited a neighbor named Jason for coming over to help him in those months after the accident. Bower would find a career as a public safety dispatcher. He married and has a family.

Bower urged the students to have a “strong moral compass” to guide their decisions and actions in life, and to help them overcome the challenges that await.

He shared other advice: look people in the eye and make eye contact.

Many teens and young adults today seem overly distracted by their phones, too quick to check them instead of engaging in conversation. Bower said.

“Eye contact and a firm handshake, you don’t see that as much,” Bower said.

Charlie Nesbitt urged all of the students to give back to their community, throughout their lives. “It’s within any individual to make a difference,” Nesbitt said.

Charlie Nesbitt, a retired state assemblyman, was a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. On Nov. 14, 1968 he was tasked with extracting a Special Forces unit out of Laos. Under enemy fire after one chopper crashed in the jungle, Nesbitt picked up the crew of the downed aircraft and left. Then the crew discovered that one man, John Grimaldi, had been left behind. Though low on fuel, Nesbitt turned his helicopter around and successfully rescued Grimaldi under intense enemy fire. Nesbitt was 20 at the time.

When he returned home after the war, he joined the family’s car dealership. He would be elected state assemblyman in 1992 and served until 2005. He then served decade as president and commissioner of the state Tax Appeals Tribunal. He also has been active in the Albion Alumni Foundation, and in local service groups, the Rotary Club and Masonic Lodge.

Nesbitt said leaders can identify a problem and develop a strategy to solve it. It often takes tenacity to get job done.

“With leadership the key element is vision,” he told the students. “You have to understand the situation and imagine the outcome.

Students and the panelists discussed leadership and challenges in the community during a 90-minute program last Thursday.

Tim Archer, an Albion teacher and Interact advisor, referred an article from Time magazine that said today’s generation of teen-agers are “lazy, entitled narcissists” who are obsessed with their social media “likes.” The article calls them the “Me, Me, Me Generation,” Archer said.

Samantha Zelent, a school social worker at Holley and the Interact advisor, believes there are stereotypes depicting today’s young people as self-absorbed, but she doesn’t see it that way.

“These kids will change this world when they are asked and motivated,” Zelent said.

Melissa Ierlan said there are many ways students can help improve their communities.

Melissa Ierlan is the code enforcement officer for Clarendon. She also is town historian and a member of the Holley Board of Education. Ierlan urged the students to get a job and work hard, and not ask for handouts.

“Parents are part of the problem,” she said. “Do you pay for your own car, your car insurance or for phone? When your parents keep giving you something, I think that’s part of the problem.”

The panelists were asked how students can volunteer and help the community.

Ierlan said there are numerous ways to give back to the community. She urged them to call their village and town clerks for ideas, as well as through the historical societies.

She praised community members for stepping up recently with projects at Hillside Cemetery in Holley/Clarendon. Scouts have done Eagle projects at the cemetery. Community members have raised money to save the historic chapel.

“We have tons and tons of people who model it everyday,” Ierlan said about “Service Above Self.”

Bower said the local youth sports leagues need coaches. Student athletes, including recent graduates, would be welcomed to work with younger kids on the teams, Bower said.

There are also numerous service clubs, churches and fire departments that need new members.

The group was asked how many plan to leave Albion or Holley after they graduate, and most kids raised their hands.

Nesbitt said the perception of little opportunity in the county remains a big barrier to overcome. Bringing job opportunities to the county was a top priority during his 13 years in the Assembly. (There is a road named for him in the Holley Business Park, which welcomed several projects during his tenure.)

Lindsay sees poverty and drug addictions as the two biggest challenges for the community. PACT, which includes several local pastors, has been engaged in those issues.

Tim Archer takes a photo of the panelists with some of the students after the forum last Thursday.

“Do you want to be part of the solution?” Lindsay said. “Identifying the problem is easy.”

Ierlan sees advantages with smaller school districts, where students know and have access to their teachers. Holley, like many local districts, has a shrinking enrollment. The school only has 57 students in next year’s graduating class, when it recently had 90 to 99.

Nesbitt said he had 214 in his graduating class about a half century ago. Today’s Albion class in just over half that size.

“Things have not stayed the same and they won’t,” he said.

Archer, a character education for Albion seventh-graders, urges his students to not just talk about a problem.

“You have to do something about it,” he said. “Talk doesn’t cook rice.”

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Masons honor members with many decades of service

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 March 2018 at 11:51 am

Don and Bernadine Ross lead the way with 75 years

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Don Ross (center), a member of the Medina Masonic Lodge, was honored on Saturday for 75 years to the Masons. Ross and several other long-time members of the Albion and Medina lodges were recognized during an awards program at the First Presbyterian Church in Albion.

Ross received a framed certificate and pin during the presentation. Tim McGee of Albion, the current junior warden and a past district deputy grand master, gives Ross the pin. James Sullivan, left, of Lockport is a past grand master for the Masons in New York State.

Ross, a Barre resident, ran a plumbing business for 40 years in Albion. He joined the Masons when he was 22. He was a pin boy as a kid, setting up bowling pins on two lanes owned by the Masonic Lodge. The members were always good to him, and welcomed him to join the lodge as a young adult.

Ross was praised for serving the many in many roles over the past 75 years.

“Don has been dedicated, loyal and hard-working, doing almost all of the jobs in the lodge,” said Jonathan Incho, lodge master in Medina.

Ross’s wife, Bernadine, also was recognized for 75 years of service to the Order of the Eastern Star. She receives a certificate from Brenda Busch, the worthy matron of the Canalside Order of the Eastern Star, and from Steven Pawlak, the worthy patron of the organization.

Mrs. Ross worked with her husband in the plumbing business, running the office. She also has been active in the Order of the Eastern Star.

“She has worked very hard, doing whatever has been asked of her,” Incho said.

Several other long-time members were recognized for their service to the Masons. This certificate and pin goes to Roy Salmon, who has 65 years of service to Masons.

The Albion Renovation Lodge 97 presented the following awards in honor of service on Saturday:

• 55 years to Rex Horton

• 50 years to both Dennis Smith and David M. Bertsch

• 45 years to Allen B. Lackey

• 30 years to Warren Seager

• 20 years to Keith Bane III and Neal Martin

• 15 years to Scott Kranzmann, Charlie Nesbitt, Stephen E. Coville II and Juan Morales

• 5 years to Alex Allport

Rex Horton accepts an award for his 55 years of service as a Mason in Albion. James Sullivan, the past grand master for the Masons in New York State, presents the award.

Dennis Smith was honored for his 50 years as a Mason. He was presented a white apron noting the 50 years of service.

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3 gather in Albion with protest signs to support ‘March for Our Lives’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 March 2018 at 2:16 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Three residents from Orleans County decided to be part of a local “March for Our Lives” protest for gun control.

There are thousands of people, many of them high school students, at protests around the country, including a big rally in Washington, D.C., seeking tougher gun control laws and safer schools.

Diana Dudley, center, led a one-hour observance this afternoon in front of the Orleans County Courthouse on Main Street. She is joined by Gary Kent, left, of Albion and Dennis Seekins of Lyndonville.

Dudley said she wanted to support the students who are rallying for more gun control.

The issue has gained prominence since a mass shooting on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed, and many of the survivors have become outspoken in the need for safer schools.

Seekins acknowledged many in Orleans County oppose additional restrictions on gun owners.

“It’s more important in a place like this,” he said. “It’s easier when everyone agrees with you.”

Seekins said he was a member of the NRA but dropped out in the early 1990s when Bill Clinton was president. Seekins said the NRA called Clinton “the enemy.”

“People in our country shouldn’t talk about the president as the enemy,” he said. “We aren’t enemies even though we might disagree vehemently.”

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Albion high schoolers perform Godspell

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2018 at 10:37 pm

Cast shares parables, shows Jesus and disciples building a community

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Victor Benjovsky portrays Jesus in Albion High School’s production of Godspell. There are shows 7 p.m. Friday (March 23) and noon and 7 p.m. on Saturday at the middle school auditorium. Tickets are available at the door.

A cast of 22 students will perform. Nineteen of the cast members are disciples and will use their own names. The other three characters are Jesus, John the Baptist (Brennan Moody) and Judas (Enoch Martin).

It’s an ensemble production with all 22 cast members performing on stage throughout the show.

“Albion is blessed with many talented students, not only on the stage but in the pit and crew,” said Gary Simboli, the show’s director. “Everyone gets at least one featured solo.”

Besides the 22 cast members, there are 24 students with the stage crew and eight in the pit orchestra.

Brennan Moody, in his role as John the Baptist, baptisms the disciples, including Sophia Zambito.

Moody enters the auditorium from the back door, singing, “Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord.”

These disciples include, from left: Sophia Zambito, Miranda Smith, Zach Moore, Molly Wadhams, Kaylyn Holman, Jacob Ettinger and Hannah Van Epps.

“The show is designed to show how to build a community and a family and it has built a community,” Simboli said. “It has pulled these kids together. I can see them continuing these friendships after the show, which is the point.”

Kaylyn Holman, one of the disciples, has a solo, “Turn Back, O Man.”

The disciples, including Aubrey Boyer (center), put on colorful scarves to symbolize they are followers of Jesus.

Enoch Martin is in the role of Judas, who betrays Jesus and is overcome with guilt.

Riley Seielstad, a senior, is the disciple in center with the red dress. Seielstad has been in all the theater productions since sixth grade.

“It’s the camaraderie you feel,” she said about being in the shows. “We’re such a huge family.”

She said Godspell is a way to tell the parables to a contemporary audience. The message hasn’t been watered down.

“It’s about the big idea of loving each other,” Seielstad said.

Enoch Martin (Judas), Victor Benjovsky (Jesus) and Laiken Ricker (disciple) perform one of the high-energy songs in the musical.

Benjovsky is a senior. He was in his first musical, Honk, as a freshman after being coaxed by his two older sisters. Benjovsky said he has made some of his closest friends through theater and had the most fun.

This is the 67th show directed by Simboli and Kathy Winans. The two started working together 33 years ago. Their first show was Snoopy. This is the first time they are directing Godspell.

Chase Froman, a disciple, gets a turn in the spotlight.

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Banker elected Albion mayor in close vote

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 March 2018 at 10:16 pm

Republicans sweep in winning all 3 Village Board seats

Eileen Banker

ALBION – Village residents elected Eileen Banker today, and also picked two Republicans for trustees.

That gives the Republicans a sweep for the three positions up for election. It was a close race, however.

Banker received 250 votes, followed by 211 for Joyce Riley and 153 for Kevin Doherty. Riley was backed by the Democrats and Doherty ran under the independent “Spark Some Action” line.

Voters also elected the Republican duo of Gary Katsanis, 306 votes, and Stan Farone, 300. The put them ahead of the Democratic Party candidates, Jason Dragon with 274 votes and Sandra Walter with 264.

Banker has been on the board for eight years, including the past four as deputy mayor. She works as the chief of staff for Assemblyman Steve Hawley. Banker’s husband Dale also is a former Village Board member and fire chief, who currently is the county’s emergency management coordinator.

Eileen and Dale are Albion natives who raised their daughter in the village.

“I love this village,” Banker said after the results were announced at the Village Hall. “This is our home. We eat, sleep and live here.”

Banker is the second woman to be elected mayor in Albion. She recalled when Donna Rodden served in the role in the 1970s.

“I remember thinking how cool it was to have a woman as mayor,” Banker said.

She ran her campaign with Farone and Katsanis. They went door to door, instead of holding a meet and greet.

“We wanted to go out and see the voter instead of having them come to us,” she said.

The Republican team was elected to new four-year terms which start April 1. Banker said approving the village budget by the end of April will be the first big job for the board.

The Republicans were adamant in their support of keeping the Albion Police Department in its current staffing of at least two officers on duty at all times, including overnight shifts. The Democratic candidates said they were open to considering scaling back the overnight to one officer. They were also opening to seeing if the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department and State Police would pick up policing in the village. If that happened, it would result in a big tax cut for village property owners. Riley, Walter and Dragon said the village tax rate is too high and isn’t sustainable for attracting residents and businesses.

Doherty favors looking at all village expenses and making customer service a higher priority. He said the current board hasn’t done enough to fight decline in the village and position Albion for a better future.

The village had 500 ballots printed for the election but the turnout passed expectations with 614 total. After the 500 votes, the village used paper ballots. It took nearly an hour to count the paper ballots. The results were announced just before 10 p.m.

Katsanis, who served on the board from 2014 to 2016, said he was encouraged by the turnout at the polls and seven candidates seeking three positions.

“I have to give the Democrats and Kevin Doherty credit for getting involved and making sure the issues were heard,” Katsanis said.

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