CUBA, NY – “Sustain and improve” is the mantra of Michele Miller, who is running for mayor of the Village of Cuba.

“I think that all of the villages and towns in our area are facing the same problems—our infrastructure is aging and there isn’t a way to afford to fix it,” Miller, who has served on the Village Board of Trustees for two years. “We are trying to lobby to congressmen and women and officials to help us afford to fix infrastructure and we are trying to be creative to keep services up and running for the community.”

Miller is representing both the Democrat and Republican parties and like village trustee candidates Douglas Rettig Sr. and Randy Searl, is running unopposed in Tuesday’s election. Miller said her experience as a trustee has helped prepare her for the role of mayor.

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“I’m not all that new to the village procedure,” she said.

Miller taught in the Cuba-Rushford Elementary School for 24 years and had belonged to the district’s teaching association.

Cuba is Miller’s hometown, and she noted that Cuba has changed dramatically since she went to study at SUNY Fredonia.

“I moved back in the 1980s, and I noticed that Cuba had changed and times had changed,” she said. “Cuba, as a village, used to be self-sufficient. Today, it is a much more mobile society and that has brought a dwindling of downtown business.”

Miller said she believes it is important to provide resources for those who choose to remain in the village and to raise their families in the historic area.

“What’s nice about Cuba is that there are so many people that live here and raise their families here,” Miller said. “Things like the park, trees and schools are an important quality of life for those families.”

Miller’s tentative goals for improving the quality of life for Cuba Village include upgrading the water lines, streets and lights. Upon election, Miller also would like to create a three-year strategic plan for other improvements to the village. And her plan will involve a team-building process.

“I want to be a facilitator,” she said. “I’m the person who wants to organize and connect with other boards, members of the boards and the community to hear what they have to say about the village. I want to work together as an organization.”

Corine Bump, deputy clerk and treasurer of the village, noted the Rettig is an incumbent and that voting times are noon until 9 p.m. in the Cuba Village Hall at 17 E. Main St.