Village elections today in Albion, Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 March 2021 at 7:29 am

Village residents will go to the polls today to vote for trustees on the Village Board in Albion and Medina.

In Albion there are two candidates running for one open seat on the board, a three-year term. Voting is from noon to 9 p.m. at the Village Office, 35 East Bank St.

The Democratic Party nominated Zachary Burgess of Hamilton Street, and the Republican Party nominated Joe Martillotta of North Main Street. They are seeking to fill a vacancy created when Kevin Sheehan resigned as trustee to become the village code enforcement officer.

The election is back on the schedule for the third Tuesday in March. Last year’s election was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and was finally held on Sept. 15.

Burgess, 31, works for Bentley Brothers as a sales representative. He also has been very active in the Rock the Park music festival at Bullard Park. He serves as co-chairman of the event which has been renamed as the Albion Summer Festival. Last year’s event was cancelled due to Covid-19. Burgess and the organizers are hoping this year’s festival with many bands can happen the first Saturday in August.

Through that event, Burgess said he has worked with many village officials and community members. He also is a member of the Albion Lions Club.

Martillotta, 69, retired in 2009 after 36 years as a high school social studies and economics teacher. He and his wife Debbie did extensive renovations of 469 East State St. and opened the Crooked Door Tavern on Jan. 31, 2011. It was his dream of owning a restaurant and bar. They operated the business for more than three years, selling it in April 2014.

Martillotta owns other properties in the village.

“I’ve been paying taxes for years in the village – lots of them,” he said.

He has long advocated for shrinking the size of local government through consolidation. That is an issue he wants to explore.

In Medina there are two candidates for two trustees. Owen Toale is seeking re-election. He is joined on the “Accountability Party” by Jessica Marciano, a member of the Parks Committee. Todd Bensley, who has been on the board for six years, isn’t seeking re-election.

Voting is from noon to 9 p.m. at Senior Center on West Avenue.

Toale has 10 years experience on the board and is the current deputy mayor.  Marciano is making her first run for the Village Board. Toale is retired as the publisher of the former Journal-Register in Medina.

“I’m privileged to serve with a board that understands the needs of the village and has no hidden agendas other than to make Medina a better place to live,” Toale posted on his Facebook page. “I think the progress that has been made in the village with the cooperation of village residents has been nothing short of remarkable.”

Toale noted the trustees each have departments to oversee, and are involved in different committees in the village government. He also has been the chief negotiator for union and department contracts for the past five years.

“Previous administrations have hired labor attorneys at the cost of $150 an hour to negotiate their contracts,” Toale said. “Working with another trustee I have managed to get the contracts done and save the village thousands of dollars in lawyer fees while being fair to the unions and the village.”

He said he works on village budgets that maintain services without an “excessive tax load.” He said he is pleased to see Marciano step up and run for the board.

“Jess is a newcomer to the process but has spent time on the Parks Committee along with attending board meetings for quite some time,” Toale said. “She is learning the role of trustee and will become an asset to the village.”