October 21, 2021

Cortland alderman in running to reclaim mayorship

Alderman and former mayor Bruce Tytler announced Monday that he is running for mayor of Cortland, a week after Mayor Brian Tobin announced he would not seek re-election.

Tytler, a Democrat who now represents the Third Ward, said he was running for the position to continue the work done under Tobin, whom Tytler worked closely with on projects such as the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative to replace and renovate the city’s Main Street.

“I want to make sure the work gets done,” he said.

He also plans to focus attention on implementing changes that come out of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 203 police reforms and advocating for the needs of the city’s neighborhoods, such as repaving or replacing roads.

Connie White, chairwoman of the Cortland County Republican Committee, said no Republican candidates have yet announced their intention of running, but would probably do so in the coming weeks.

Today marks the first day for potential candidates to start collecting signatures, according to the state Board of Elections.

“I’m excited to see Bruce (Tytler) throw his hat back in the ring,” Tobin said, noting Tytler’s commitment to the neighborhoods in his ward and his focus on the well-being of children.

Tytler worked as a social studies teacher in Houston, DeRuyter and Homer before retiring as the principal of Whitney Point High School in 2017, Tytler said.

Tobin also noted events Tytler helped get started during Tytler’s time as mayor, such as the Great Cortland Pumpkinfest.

Nearly 20 years ago, Tytler announced he would not seek a second term as mayor, but denied that his decision stemmed from public criticism of his attempt to take over the independent Water Board had an effect on his decision.

For nearly a year, Tytler proposed to take over the independent water provider by obtaining Home Rule legislation from the state Legislature.

However, the Common Council and Water Board reached a compromise in January 2001 that ended the bid and formed a mechanism for improved communications. Council decided to dissolve the Water Board in January 2003.

Tytler served two terms on the Common Council before being elected mayor in 2000, Tytler said.

Tytler also sought the Democratic nomination for Congress in 2006, losing the nomination to Michael Arcuri, who went on to succeed Sherwood Boehlert in what was then the 24th District.

He was last elected to the Common Council in 2019.

Tytler is also a member of the Tompkins Cortland Community College board of trustees and a member of the Cortland College Council, according to a news release on his candidacy.

Tytler said he will bring the values of working hard, having a vision for the community and working with others if elected.

“Our best days are ahead of us,” he said. “Anyone that writes Cortland off, I just don’t agree with that.”