2 running for trustee have proven commitment to Lyndonville community
Anne Marie Holland and Darren Wilson seek one-year on Village Board
LYNDONVILLE – Two candidates running to fill a one-year term on the Village Board are well established leaders in Lyndonville.
Anne Marie Holland, who was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board in September, is currently president of the Lyndonville Lions Club. She is also a Lyndonville school administrator, serving as director of special programs, staff development and pupil services.
She is challenged in the village election on Tuesday by Darren Wilson, who is president of the Lyndonville Area Foundation. Wilson is a Florida native who works as a graphic and industrial designer with a focus in the automotive industry. His office is on Route 63. His wife Wendy is general manager of LynOaken Farms and president of Leonard Oakes Estate Winery.
Holland, in her role as Lions Club president, also is a member of the Foundation board of directors. Wilson has been a member of Foundation since 2002. As president, he leads the board’s meetings. The Foundation distributes about $100,000 to the community each year for scholarships and projects.
Wilson is also on the Village Planning Board and is a member of the Lions Club.
Neither Holland or Wilson has anything bad to say about the other. In fact, they both say the other candidate is well qualified and would be a good choice.
Both say they want to serve the community in another way by being on the Village Board.
Holland has worked in education for 33 years, including the past 25 at Lyndonville. She and her husband Roy moved to the community when they bought the Green Harbor Campground and Marina. They sold the business about 15 years ago but have stayed in Lyndonville. Their two grown children have also moved back to Lyndonville.
“We were made to feel very welcome in the community,” Holland said about when they first moved to Lyndonville. “I want to be able to contribute and give back to the community.”
She said bringing more vitality to Main Street is a priority. She supported the recent decision to offer a tax exemption to downtown buildings. If the owners upgrade the sites, they wouldn’t see their tax assessments go up for five years, and then the taxes would be phased in from years 6 to 10. Wilson also pushed for that exemption and presented it to the Village Board as an alternative for enticing projects to the downtown.
“I want to see some life on Main Street again,” she said. “I want it to stay a positive place to raise children. I think it’s a beautiful community.”
She is pleased the Pennysaver building has recently been purchased and the owner has plans for utilizing the building. Ultimately, she said local residents need to support the businesses for them to succeed in the community.
Holland also praised the efforts of the Lions Club, library, the town, village and other community groups for bringing concerts to the downtown, the Fourth of July festival and other events. The Lions Club last week voted to purchase new patriotic banners for Main Street.
“I have the best interests of the community at heart,” Holland said. “I’m willing to listen and work hard. I’m running to keep Lyndonville a nice place to live.”
Wilson moved to Lyndonville about 20 years ago. He sees lots of potential in the community. The school district is a source of pride, and so are the nearby apple farms.
His service on the Foundation has given him insight into the assets of the community and some of the challenges and budget shortfalls. The Foundation can often bridge a funding gap for a program. The Foundation’s board includes many community leaders, including representatives from the school, the village mayor and town supervisor, and several others.
Wilson said his 30 years of business experience would be an asset to the Village Board. He said the village has been struggling in recent years, particularly with increased vacancies on Main Street.
We wants to be part of the solution. That’s why he favored the tax exemption in the downtown. He wants to do more to assist business owners with projects.
“I’m willing to do the hands-on with these owners and help them jump through hoops,” he said.
Holland said Wilson is “an excellent candidate” for the board. Wilson also praised Holland’s skills and commitment.
“We both have a vested interest in the community and we’re probably both running for much of the same reasons,” Wilson said.
The election on Tuesday will be from noon to 9 p.m. at the Village Hall. Holland is running under the “Lyndonville Party” while Wilson is under the “Main Street Party.”