ALLEGANY, NY – Voters in the Village of Allegany are not likely struggle to fill out their ballots during Tuesday’s election because Mayor Greg Pearl,Trustee Robert Barton and first-time trustee candidate Dominic Papasergi are running uncontested.
Pearl, seeking his second term as the village’s mayor, said he is proud of what he has accomplished during his first four years in office.
“We’ve looped the water on Second Street and we’ve fixed the puddling, flooding situation on St. Mary's, St. John's, and St. Joe's Drive,” Pearl, a district sales representative for Curtze Food Service, said, noting that his proudest achievement has been the development of Field of Dreams, a retirement facility on North Seventh Street that will open later this year.
“It’s a much-needed facility,” he said of the $15 million dollar project that will create a 140-bed assisted living facility. “And, for our area, the best part about it is that it’s going to create about 100 jobs.”
Pearl, a Republican who was cross-endorsed by the village’s Democratic caucus, said that most of his focus in his second term will be streamlining water services throughout the village.
“We want to, at the end of the four years, have all dead-end lines in the village looped so that the quality of water is better,” he said, noting that the village also is pursuing grants to fund digital meter readers.
“That will do two things: cut down on the amount of time our guys are spending out in the field reading meters while it also sends an instant signal back to the office,” he said. “Right now, if you have a leaky something as a taxpayer, we usually don’t pick up on it until the billing goes out. We hope to prevent that. It will save the taxpayer, and it’ll save us.”
As for what drives him to serve his community, Pearl noted that it came down to senior citizens and children.
“With senior citizens, we’ve forgotten what brought us to the dance,” he said. “Sometimes it just drives me crazy that they’re not thought of. With kids, we just assume everything is cool with them.”
He added, “I thought that I could change a few things by running. But, while doing that, this is a great opportunity that I can do what I really like the best which is to hang out with kids.”
One of Pearl’s favorite initiatives has been the creation of Allegany Community Cares – an organization to support village children.
“We just are trying to stress to them that there are other people in the community that care,” he said. “Maybe you want to talk to someone who isn’t going to offer advice, but someone who will just listen to you.”
Barton is a Democratic incumbent running for his second four-year term. Village trustee is the only political seat he has held up to this point.
During his time in office, Barton said he, along with the other trustees, was able to work on infrastructure and on fixing issues in the water system, including getting the sewer up to date and taking good care of the roads.
Barton, who works at Spectrum during the day, said he is running again to finish everything that he started during his first term.
“We have a good team on board, and we're getting a lot of things done, and some things didn’t get completed,” Barton said. “I want to make sure everything we wanted to happen does happen.”
If re-elected, he said he plans on continuing on with what the trustees are currently doing, fixing the water system in Allegany, fixing all of the sewer pumps and saving village taxpayers money.
Barton is also excited for the Field of Dreams project. While he does not believe it will be completed for a while, he said there are strides he hopes to take during the upcoming years.
“Phase One should be done in the next few years – getting first the building up and running, getting a drainage pond put in and getting people moved in as soon as we can,” Barton said.
To Barton, the responsibilities of being a trustee are maintaining safety and prosperity in the village, and while he does not believe there are many issues in the village, he said that all areas of Western New York need to focus on keeping businesses thriving.
“If we can do that, I don’t see any problems with the village succeeding,” Barton said. “It’s an issue all over the state. We do pretty well, but I just wanna keep it doing well. And if it doesn’t, that’s where the issue will be. But, we’re doing a pretty good job.”
Papasergi, running for his first term as a village trustee, is no stranger to the village community, having retired in June as Chief of Police and Superintendent of Public Works. The seat he is running for is held by Melissa Myers, who chose not to seek re-election.
“The village is going in a direction that they’re moving forward and adding Field of Dreams,” Papasergi, who began his career as a part-time police officer in 1980, said of his decision to run for public office. “This mayor has been doing a really good job. After one of the board members decided they weren’t going to run, I decided that I would continue to see what I can do for the village.”
Papasergi echoed the need to continue to keep taxes low for village residents and to continue improving Allegany’s infrastructure.
“I think right now we need to make sure that the infrastructure that was put in is taken care of and maintained and that there are procedures in place to make sure it doesn’t go back to where we were,” he said. “Most of the water valves throughout the village have been redone; police wise, the guys are getting another full-time person. We’re just trying to improve a little bit.”
He also noted that he is excited to serve village residents once again.
“My favorite part has just been serving the people,” he said. “I’ve always been a people person.”
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