At least two of the four seats up on the Village of Fredonia Board of Trustees will be open for entirely new candidates come March. Trustees Susan Mackay and Jacqueline Penfold-Williams have announced they will not seek re-election.
Mackay, who had been endorsed by the Democratic Party, is in her second term and eighth year on the board.
"I think we've done a lot of things. I feel like I've accomplished a lot of stuff, and I think there are some things that I can continue to do outside of the village government," Mackay said. "In some ways I'm for term limits. I think eight years is probably an optimum time to try to accomplish what you want to. Maybe another term would have helped to finish a few things off, but I think after that there's a real chance of getting stuck and having heard things and losing a fresh perspective."
Mackay said it's time for somebody else to step up, someone who will have the same kind of vision and direction to carry things forward.
A few board members, including Tommy Brown and Adam Brown, have already inherited some projects normally headed by Mackay.
"The LDC (Local Development Corp.), I can continue with that, but Tommy does need to be my partner in that and I know he will," Mackay said. "Hopefully I'll have the Main Street grant finished and the Urban Forestry grant finished by the time I leave, and whatever happens with those I can be on the edge."
Known for her efforts with Festivals Fredonia and the Art Trail among other things, Mackay said she will put a little more time into some of the other things she has been putting off.
"It's time to play more with the grandkids and really put the efforts into my art work career, which has certainly taken off," she said. "When all things are said and done, I have found in the eight years that this board has always been able to come back together as a team. They've set differences aside and they've all had a sense of humor, or had to get one, and I appreciate that. I appreciate the working for the common good which I truly believe that everybody I worked with has not always my same vision but has had one of their own."
Fellow Trustee Jacqueline Penfold-Williams will complete her first term and fourth year on the board in March. Having been endorsed by the Republican party, Penfold-Williams said the experience has been terrific.
"People supported me and it was wonderful to learn so much about how government does run, and how important it is," she said.
Over the course of her term, however, she said she couldn't help but feel discouraged at times.
"I really feel that my idea and platform that we ran on was not to raise taxes, but to really do that you have to cut services, positions, and to consolidate courts and municipalities. People talk about wanting to cut taxes, but they're not getting out and voting. It's talk is cheap," she said. "It becomes a very negative atmosphere and people are not getting out and looking at the numbers. We can't go on until people are really ready to get out and vote for tax cutting and realize what that's going to be - it's going to be status quo."
She said she will miss being a part of the changing of the guard, but thinks this is best.
"I really would like to see how this is all going to come about and I think the change has to start with Albany," she said.
The remaining seats up for election will be the seats currently held by Democrat trustee Joseph Cerrie and Republican Mayor Michael Sullivan. Neither party has made any announcement as to who will run for re-election, and for which position. Both Cerrie and Sullivan are expected to make an announcement in the near future.
Remaining trustees Tommy Brown and Adam Brown both have two years remaining on their terms.
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