Changes are in the wind as the village prepares to hold its local elections in March.
Village Trustee Timothy Campbell announced last week he is not seeking re-election this year, leaving an open seat on the five-member Village Board.
At the same time, the village will ask voters through a special ballot proposition for permission to move the annual local elections from March to November each year. That idea was first discussed back in September and formalized through resolution at the Jan. 17 Village Board meeting.
Other villages throughout New York State have decided to go that route in an effort to boost voter turnout and save money. If given voter approval, Stillwater would be the first village in Saratoga County to hold its local elections in November.
A November voting day would also enable the village to hand over the responsibility of holding local elections to Saratoga County instead of the village running it themselves. March is also a busy time for village officials to hold an election as it works to prepare the annual budget and organize water billings.
If approved, the village’s first November election would not be held until the fall of 2019, extending some of the terms of elected officials until the process catches up. Village Trustees and the Mayor all hold four-year terms.
One Trustee the new voting time would not affect is Campbell, who said he would be 78 years old by the end of his new term if he ran and was elected again and it’s “time for younger blood” to take over elected office.
“There is a time in life when you consider your effectiveness, and you know it’s time to hang it up,” Campbell said. “You know you are too old and I’m there. We need fresh ideas from younger people for the growth of the village. It’s been a good ride, and I thank everyone who supported me during my time on the board. Best of luck to the new board member elect in March.”
Campbell was first appointed to the Board of Trustees in August, 2013, following the resignation of Keith Collins. He was elected to finish the remaining two years of that term in March, 2015.
He is a third generation village resident, a graduate of Stillwater High School, and a retiree of the former General Electric Silicones plant in Waterford where he worked for 37 years as a heavy industrial mechanic. He was also a member of the village Zoning Board of Appeals for four years. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a B-52 Crew Chief.
Campbell and his cousin are best known in the village as the “Zamboni Brothers” for running and maintaining the village ice skating rink each winter. He announced that he will be stepping down from that volunteer role as well.
Campbell said he is most proud that he served under two mayors, and during his term he advocated for the need for open government and to give something back to the taxpayers. He was also instrumental in helping to acquire several pieces of heavy equipment for the village Department of Public Works.
“The Board has made gains with shared services, and joined efforts in resolving infrastructure problems in water and sewer with the Town,” he said. “I am happy to have been a part of that.”
The village is seeking candidates to run for Campbell’s open Trustee seat. Interested candidates should stop by the Village Clerk’s office during business hours and pick up petitions. Fifty signatures are needed to appear on the election ballot. Petitions must be submitted to the Village Clerk no later than Feb. 14. The new Trustee term would begin April 3.
A second Trustee seat is up for election in March, currently held by Eunice Marshall. Marshall, who is planning on running for re-election this year, was elected to a one-year term on the Village Board during a special election on March 15, 2016. She was originally appointed to the board in October, 2015, to fill the seat formerly held by John Murphy, who resigned a month earlier. Marshall is a former member of the Stillwater Schools Board of Education.
Voting in this year’s election will be held on Tuesday, March 21, noon-9 p.m. at The Stillwater Area Community Center, 19 Palmer St. Trustees have appointed Dorothy DeMarco, Cynthia Briggs, Kathleen Wood and Mary Moore as Election Inspectors.