October 18, 2021

Village of Dryden board of trustees election set

DRYDEN — Four candidates seek two seats on the Dryden village board, in elections from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday at village hall.

Incumbent Democrats Debbie Fisher and Dan Wakeman face Republicans Christine Nash and David Bravo-Cullen for two-year terms.

The election, initially scheduled for March, was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In-person voting will require the village to follow strict health and safety guidelines, the Tompkins County Board of Elections reports. Workers and voters must wear masks and gloves and practice social distancing. Only a few people at a time are allowed in the building at 16 South St.

Debbie Fisher

Fisher has been the deputy mayor for the village for a year and on the board of trustees for two.

“I feel like I’ve done an effective job so far,” she said. “We have a good board right now so I’d like to continue the work of keeping the village of Dryden going.”

Fisher plans to continue improvements at Montgomery Park. Since 2015, projects at the park include constructing a new playground. Fisher also wants to review and update village police policies.

Fisher is also making it her goal to attract business, working with the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s a challenge for the village to attract businesses in,” she said. “The community and the board want to continue to develop businesses in the village in some way.”

Dan Wakeman

Wakeman served on the board from 2002 and 2008 and again 2017 to 2019. He is also on the village public works committee.

Wakeman is looking to continue working with public works on the sewer line testing. He said the sewer plant is processing more water than the village is pumping, so he and sewage plant officials are trying to figure out where the water is coming from.

“We’re checking for in-flow leaks in the system,” Wakeman said.

Wakeman said he is also looking forward to future projects at Montgomery Park.

“I have the history of being on the board so I know how the village works,” he said. “I work well with others, and that’s a strength I have.”

Christine Nash

Nash said she wants to provide narcotics anonymous programs to counter the drug problem she sees.

“A lot of people I’ve talked to said they’re tired of seeing an uptick in drug dealing and abuse in the community, and so am I,” she said. “My neighbors have told me they’ve been finding dirty needles in their yards. We just don’t see enough being done.”

“Any time some type of project or something comes up, I want people to be more aware of how they can help,” said Nash, a village resident for 10 years. “There’s a need for volunteers across the board.”

Nash also wants to show more support for village police through a community event and attract business development.

“I want to see more businesses stay and have a reason to stay,” she said.

David Bravo-Cullen

Bravo-Cullen, a village resident for 35 years, is on the village planning board and the rail trail task force, and the town of Dryden conservation, recreation and flood control advisory committee.

He said town and village officials need to communicate more. “There needs to be a better way of working together,” he said.

Bravo-Cullen said he has two ideas for traffic on Route 13 he’d like to discuss with the state Department of Transportation and the Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council: two one-way streets or a two-lane highway around the village. He is interested in seeing how the traffic issue on Route 13 will be resolved.

Bravo-Cullen has also noticed an influx of truck traffic through the village, and hopes the bypass would limit congestion.