In an ‘off year’ election, still important to vote for town candidates

Posted 31 October 2021 at 5:27 pm


The common term for the upcoming election is “off year” because there are no federal officials on the ballot.

But for cities and towns this is the election that matters. Sadly, many people do not vote in these very important local elections. For those who are disillusioned with politics in general, local town boards are the place to engage. These are our neighbors, they meet locally with an opportunity for public voices to be heard and they are accessible to us. In our towns every vote matters.

Town boards across rural New York have had many changing complications over the last few years of pandemic response. Funding was uncertain early on and there were a myriad of changing concerns.

I want to put out a big thank you to my town board in the Town of Yates for this work but also for their willingness, over the past four years, to consider ways to make Yates a better place to live. Many of these ideas came from the updates to the Comprehensive Plan and the soon to be completed Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan. These plans are important as they open up new avenues for funding so we can enhance our existing resources, like the town park.

The Yates Town Board, under the leadership of Jim Simon, has worked with residents and other local towns, and has listened respectfully to all points of view, even during the difficult times when our town board meetings were filled with local as well as out-of-area people voicing a desire for a large-scale industrial wind project in our town. Everyone was able to be heard and everyone had access to Town Board members to discuss the issues.

The Yates Town Board has managed the daily functioning of the town and has researched and reviewed ways to leverage our existing resources. They have balanced fiscal responsibility with the need to not merely maintain what we have but to make it better.

I will be supporting, with my vote, the existing town board members who are running for re-election including Jim Simon and Harold Suhr. I will also be supporting the election of Terry Chaffee Jr., who was recently appointed to the Town Board and is now seeking election. I hope to see them continue the work they have begun.

Kate Kremer