Democrats back Joyce Riley for Albion mayor, 2 for trustees

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 January 2018 at 10:41 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Joyce Riley, a retired nurse and former Albion Board of Education member, was nominated for Albion mayor during the Democratic Party caucus this evening at Hoag Library.

ALBION – The Democratic Party has three candidates to run for the Albion Village Board during the election on March 20.

The Democrats held the party caucus at the Hoag Library this evening and nominated Joyce Riley for mayor, and Jason Dragon and Sandra Walter for trustees. The positions are all for four years. The election will be from noon to 9 p.m. at the Village Hall, 35-37 E. Bank St.

The Republican Party will have its caucus at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Dean London, the current mayor, has said he isn’t running again.

Riley is a former member of the Albion Board of Education. She worked as a registered nurse and later supervised an ambulatory surgical unit in Washington, D.C., overseeing 200 employees. When she retired, she moved back to Albion in 2015. She lives on Linwood Avenue.

“I think it would be very good for the village to have someone coming in who wouldn’t be an insider, someone who has open eyes,” Riley told 19 Democrats who cast votes at the caucus.

Riley said she worries about the village’s shrinking tax base and declining population. That will make it a challenge to maintain existing services without raising taxes.

“We need to form alliances and work collaboratively with the towns, county and the other villages,” Riley said. “The business owners and residents all have an investment in this community. I believe you can get good ideas from anybody. We’re married to what’s best overall.”

Riley said she would have an open-door policy and would welcome input from “people who want the best for the community.”

Sandra Walter

The Democrats also endorsed Walter and Dragon for village trustees.

Walter ran for the board four years ago and wasn’t elected. Her concerns from four years ago haven’t gone away. She said she worries about the decline in the community. She sees it when she goes for walks around Albion.

Walter retired about two years ago. She worked as a claims processor for CRFS in Albion. Before that she was a supervisor in collections for Dime Bank and North American Mortgage in Albion.

The West Bank Street resident said the village residents are overtaxed, and that has led to some of the decay in the neighborhoods. The high taxes also chase out some residents and businesses.

Jason Dragon

Walter said the Democratic Party candidates will present their platform soon, and will have ideas for reducing the village taxes.

Dragon, an East Avenue resident, works as a software engineer/consultant. He also manages the website for the Orleans County Democrats.

Dragon grew up in Albion, moved away and returned. Despite its challenges, Albion remains an attractive place to live, Dragon said.

“Our goal is to make sure Albion continues to be a good place to live in the next 20, 30 and 40 years,” he said at the caucus.

Dragon said the government may need to change how it provides services to be more efficient and in line with the resources in the community.

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