By Matt Youngfrau
SULLIVAN COUNTY March 21, 2003 Tuesday nights village elections brought some surprises, a complete turnaround in power, and some of the same old, same old. Depending upon the particular municipality, things will stay the same or will be vastly different.
However, in one, the results will not be known for a week.
Four out of the six villages held elections Tuesday: Bloomingburg, Jeffersonville, Liberty, and Wurtsboro. (Monticello had no election this year, and Woodridge holds their elections in June.)
One big surprise was in the Village of Wurtsboro. In the Mayors race, there was a tie. Incumbent Mayor and Wurtsboro First candidate Bob Whitehead received 143 votes. Republican and Democratic candidate Eugene Young also received 143 votes (80 Republican, 63 Democrat).
Trustee candidate (Democrat and Republican) John Klein ran unopposed. Klein received 192 votes (94 Republican, 98 Democrat). Both seats are two-year terms.
There are 20 absentee and affidavit ballots to be counted.
In Liberty, the Democrats swept the election. Two current board members were vying for the two-year Mayoral term. Democrat William Rube Smith received 393 votes. Republican and Liberty First candidate Stephen Lavelle received 238 votes (213 Republican, 25 Liberty First).
Lavelle will complete his term on the board and be the only Republican left.
Before the election, it was a 4-1 Republican majority. Now it will be a 4-1 Democratic majority.
Four candidates vied for two two-year trustee seats. The top vote-getters were Democrats Allan Berube (395 votes) and Joan Stoddard (390 votes). Incumbent Republican and Liberty First candidate Thomas Sprague received 231 votes (204 Republican and 27 Liberty First). Newcomer Sal Crescitelli received 192 votes (165 Republican, 27 Liberty First).
With Smith becoming Mayor, there is a vacant seat (incumbent Thomas Caskey chose not to run again). It is expected that Smith will name someone to the board when they reorganize in April.
Liberty had one other race. Harold Bauman ran unopposed for a four-year term for Justice. The Democrat received 408 votes.
In Bloomingburg, Clifford Teich ran unopposed for a two-year Trustee seat. Teich received 17 votes.
In Jeffersonville, Mayor Edward Justus received 22 votes to earn another two-year term. Three Trustee seats were also decided. For two-year terms, Timothy Mullally got 20 votes, and Peter Ciaccio had 18 votes. Peggy Johansen received 19 votes for a one-year Trustee term.
Confirmation hearings will be held Tuesday, March 25. Bloomingburgs is at 10:30 a.m. Wurtsboros is at 11 a.m. Libertys will be at 1:30 p.m. Jeffersonville does not have absentee ballots, which are the reasons for a hearing.
New officers take their positions on April 1.