Trustees running unopposed, library seeking new board members

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Two trustees on Essex Jct.’s governing board will likely have an easy road to re-election this April.

Village president George Tyler and trustee Dan Kerin were the only ones to hand in petitions before the March 6 deadline, according to joint clerk Susan McNamara-Hill. Both are unopposed for three-year seats.

Tyler, who’s currently serving in his ninth year, said he hopes the lack of competition means the public thinks trustees are doing a good job, but noted he still plans to do some campaigning and stand out by the polls on election day.

“I encourage people to still come by and vote and give me an earful of everything I’m doing wrong,” he said.

Tyler said he helped initiate the consolidation process, and he feels a certain responsibility to see it through, if village voters are willing. Village and town staff have both extended themselves to these efforts, he said, adding he loves the people he’s working with.

“I sincerely believe we make a great team and are moving the community in a positive direction.  I want to keep it going,” he said.

Kerin, aiming for his third term, thinks his work on the board has brought about good change over the last six years.

Kerin also said he’s well prepared to deal with some of the more complicated merger discussions, like those involving the fire departments.

He pointed to ongoing issues like traffic in the village center and the village’s aging water lines that show the struggle of prioritizing projects. He hopes to use the next three years to get the village the “biggest bang for our buck.”

Voters will also have a chance to weigh in on the library trustee candidates.

Max Holzman, who was appointed by the village trustees when the position opened last year, is now seeking formal election the post. He’s running unopposed for a one-year seat.

Holzman previously ran a Star Wars after school program, but his time for the club has been limited since his snowboard business picked up steam.

He hopes to be elected, however, viewing the library trustees’ role as a way to keep the library alive and well.

“It’s a great group of people, and it’s a way to serve the community,” he said.

No candidates filed petitions for the trustees’ three- and five-year seats, the latter of which was formerly filled by longtime member Linda Costello.

Per Samuel Brownell, the library’s namesake who donated it in 1926, the board operates with five elected members alongside five permanent members. He did so to ensure the Brownell family could remain on the board without living in Essex Jct., according to board chairwoman and permanent member Christine Packard.

When a permanent member leaves, that board promotes an elected member to join its ranks. This year, Costello answered the call, solidifying herself among the library’s leaders.

Though the ballot holds two open slots, Packard said she’s confident the trustees will fill the positions.

“Things just haven’t lined up very well currently,” she said, adding several people expressed interest but never filed a petition for office.

The trustees will now advertise the openings before appointing two people to fill the positions.

Village residents vote on the village budget during the annual meeting April 5 at Essex High School, beginning at 7 p.m. Voters will then head back to the high school April 11 for elections.