December 1, 2021

Republicans sweep Cortlandville town board

Cortlandville Republicans retained control of the town board, defeating a Democratic challenger, as a former town councilman was returned to the board.

Republican incumbent Jeff Guido and Greg Leach and Democrat Pamela Jenkins vied for two open seats on the Cortlandville Town Board. Peter Morse-Ackley, a Democrat, dropped out of the race last month, but too late to have his name removed from the ballot. Leach receieved 973 votes and Guido received 1,063 votes, defeating Jenkins’ 631 votes in complete but unofficial results.

“I’m incredibly honored that the folks of Cortlandville had chosen to elect me again,” Guido said. “That’s the big thing, and I will try to do the best I can.”

Guido’s main interests as a board member are focused on protecting the town’s aquifer, tackling the ongoing mining issues, making Cortlandville more business-friendly and redeveloping vacant businesses to promote economic development.

Although she didn’t have anything to say about the aquifer or mining issues, Cortlandville resident Iva Markicevic said one issue she’s interested in is how taxpayers’ money is used.

“I’d rather see taxes used for social infrastructure,” Markicevic said. “I don’t mind paying a tax if it’s going to concrete programs that are actually helping people, like health care, school or childcare, but I’d rather that than just tax for the sake of taxation.”

Guido joined the board in 2019 when he was appointed to fill the position following his predecessor’s resignation, and he hopes to keep his seat for the remaining two years of the four-year term.

Fellow Republican Leach, owner of Leach’s Custom Trash Service, served on the Cortlandville Town Board from 2010 until 2017, when he came in third for two seats, losing to Democrat Doug Withey and John Reynolds. Leach said his goal as a town board member would be to finish what he started during his previous terms, including the Gutchess Lumber Sports Complex.

Democrat Pamela Jenkins previously ran for the Cortland County Legislature in 2019, losing to Republican Chris Newell. She is on the Cortlandville Comprehensive Plan Committee and says her goal as a board member would be to make the town more transparent, especially in regard to finances.

Jenkins said other topics of concern include the careful spending of tax dollars, extension of the town’s water and sewer lines, expanding access to broadband, increasing the emphasis on work force development and business retention, and increasing the availability of high-quality childcare and senior programs.