GHENT—The four villages in the county are holding elections Tuesday, March 16. In Philmont and Valatie, long-time incumbent mayors are not running for reelection. In the other two villages—Chatham and Kinderhook—incumbents are running unopposed.
In all the elections in the villages there is an option to write-in a candidate for a trustee or mayor position. Last year, write-in candidate Debra Gitterman won a trustee seat in Philmont with 50 votes.
Voting sites are at the village halls and polls are open noon to 9 p.m.
Village races in this state are non-partisan.
In Chatham, incumbent mayor John Howe and trustees Jaimee Boehme and Peter Minahan are all running unopposed for reelection. Mayor Howe and Trustee Minahan are running in the Chatham Future Party and Trustee Boehme is running on the Village Peoples Party ballot line. The mayor and the trustees are two-year terms. The Village of Chatham is the only village that uses the County Board of Elections to run its elections. The Chatham Village Hall is at the Tracy Memorial, 77 Main Street.
Two trustee seats are open in the Village of Kinderhook and two incumbents—David Flaherty and James Mark Browne—are running for reelection. Trustee Browne, who was appointed to an open board seat after the September 2020 election, is running for a full two-year term on the board. The Kinderhook Village Hall is at 6 Chatham Street/Route 9.
In Philmont, long-time Mayor Clarence “Skip” Speed is not running for reelection. Mayor Speed has been in office for 16 years and was a village trustee before that. Current Trustee Brian Johnson, running on the Village Party line, is on the ballot for mayor. If Mr. Johnson wins, he will appoint someone to his trustee seat. If a write-in candidate wins the seat, Mr. Johnson will retain his trustee seat.
There are also two open seats for trustee. Douglas Cropper and Larry Ostrander are running for reelection on the Village Party line. Jason Detzel, with the Homestead Party, is running for one of the trustee seats. The mayor and the trustees are two-year terms. Philmont Village Hall is at 124 Main Street.
In Valatie, current Trustee Frank Bevens is running unopposed for mayor. For the two open trustee seats, Larry Eleby, Sr. is running for reelection along with newcomer Sean Casey. Current Valatie Mayor Diane Argyle is not running for reelection. She has been mayor since 2013.
The Valatie Village Hall is in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building at 3211 Church Street.
Village elections are annually held in March, which became a problem when the pandemic hit in 2020. Last year, Governor Cuomo moved village elections a few times, finally setting in-person elections on September 15, 2020.
This year the elections are back on their normal schedule, though pandemic precautions will be taken at the polling sites.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email