By Nathan Mayberg
SULLIVAN COUNTY March 24, 2006 A New Beginning Party took over in Bloomingburg by overthrowing two incumbents in Tuesdays election.
In four other villages, voters were either content to keep their trustees or had no choice.
Unofficial numbers in the Village of Bloomingburg, with a population of about 353 residents, showed A New Beginning and Conservative challenger E. Everett Saunders winning in a landslide against 20-year incumbent and Progressive Mayor Ronald Scott.
Out of the 82 people who showed up to the polls, Saunders picked up 58 votes to just 24 for Scott.
The trustee race was just as decisive. A New Beginning candidate for trustee Margaret Peggy Wood tallied 56 nods against three-year incumbent and Progressive Joseph Gotthardt, who received 25 votes.
Gotthardt believed the election boiled down to a referendum on Mayor Scotts plans to create a town water system.
Scott intended to dig for water before the New York State Department of Transportation reconstructed Main Street.
Gotthardt said the village would need its own water sooner or later due to increasing development in and around the village. Multi-family and senior housing projects are being planned for the village, he said. In addition, development on the edges of the village are moving quickly. As people keep digging for new wells, it will eventually impact the wells of local residents, he said.
In addition, Gotthardt said be believed village water would enhance local businesses.
I am anxiously awaiting the new beginning, he stated.
He said the small village has a limited budget, so there is little fat to trim.
Scott and Wood were unavailable for comment. Saunders went on a vacation after the election.
Judge Glenn Kroll received all 45 votes under the Progressive ticket. He faced no challenger.
In the Village of Liberty, a three-way race for two trustee seats ended in incumbents Anita Parkhurst and Thomas Sprague retaining their seats by a 13 and 14 percent margin, respectively, over challenger Douglas Bowman.
Running on the Republican ticket, Parkhurst (a Democrat) gained 148 votes while Sprague picked up 151 tallies. Bowman, running on the Liberty First line, rang up 95 votes. Bowman is also a Democrat, but an error by the villages Democratic Party resulted in neither candidate being able to run on the Democratic line.
Bowmans candidacy was rocked in the final days of his campaign by the report of a criminal conviction about two decades ago.
In the Village of Monticello, trustees Gordon Jenkins and Scott Schoonmaker ran unopposed until a last-minute write-in campaign from former Mayor and Trustee Robert Friedland.
Despite the write-ins, Jenkins led all vote-getters with 119, Schoonmaker picked up 110, and Friedland received 17 write-ins.
Friedland said he was asked to run one week before the election by Democrats upset that Jenkins is switching to the Republican Party, yet still ran on the Democratic ticket and handed out Democratic petitions. He said he believed he could work well with the rest of the board, and that he was qualified.
In the Village of Jeffersonville, only 19 people bothered to vote for three unopposed candidates. Trustee Jonathan Casterline picked up 17 votes, running on the Independent line for a one-year term. Trustees Peggy Johansen and William Thony re-upped their two-year terms with 19 votes apiece on the Independent line.
In the Village of Wurtsboro, Wurtsboro First Trustee Mickey Maher received all 47 votes in an oppositionless race.