Stirk won’t seek re-election in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 April 2013 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Two years as the leader of the town government in Albion is enough for Dennis Stirk. The former town justice isn’t planning to run for another two-year term as town supervisor.

“I’m 62 and I want to enjoy life,” Stirk said Monday after the Town Board meeting.

He wants to free up his schedule so he can go camping more often and spend his winters in Florida.

Stirk was elected in November 2011. He beat the incumbent, Judith Koehler, who at that point stopped campaigning. Koehler had moved to cut the pay for Highway Superintendent Jed Standish and Town Clerk Sarah Basinait. When the two won Republican primaries and were then cross-endorsed by Democrats, Koehler asked voters not to support her in the election.

Stirk and two Town Board members, Dan Poprawski and Jake Olles, have backed Standish and Basinait, giving them raises. Two holdovers from the previous board, Tim Neilans and Matt Passarell, are often at odds with the Stirk-led board.

Passarell is seeking the Republican endorsement for town supervisor. The Republican Committee is interviewing candidates today. Olles also is interested in the job.

Passarell said the town needs a strong leader. An Iraq War veteran and VFW commander, Passarell works as quality supervisor for Baxter in Medina. Olles works as a correctional officer.

Dawn Allen, the Albion GOP committee chairwoman, said the group expects to endorse candidates on April 16.

Stirk said the town has moved along several projects since he took office. He noted the construction of Water District No. 9 as a significant accomplishment.

Stirk retired in August 2010 after 22 years as an Albion judge. He also worked 31 years as a gas fitter with New York State Electric and Gas.