ALLEGANY, NY – Elections are in full swing for the Town of Allegany, and on the ballot are two open positions for Allegany Council and one for Allegany Supervisor. Council members serve four-year terms, and the supervisor serves a two-year term.
The incumbent supervisor Kathy Martin, a Republican, has decided not to run for re-election. She defeated Democratic candidate Christina M. Golley for the one-year vacancy after the death of Supervisor John Hare in July 2018.
The candidates running for the supervisor seat are James Hitchcock and Darla Busan. Hitchcock, is endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties. Busan is endorsed by the Democratic and Working Families parties.
Hitchcock has 14 years of experience as a councilman for Allegany. He also served as interim supervisor in 2018, but chose not to run for the open seat at the time.
He is a lifelong resident of the community and previously oversaw the council's Recreation, Parks, Buildings, Grounds and Safety, Water, Sewer and Cemetery committees.
Hitchcock points to his accomplishments on the town board, where he says he was successful at controlling taxes while maintaining services and obtaining grants for the town.
“We would like to pursue more grants for the parks and playground equipment,” Hitchcock said. “We’re pursuing different avenues to get grant money for those things because they’re in bad shape and need some help.”
Busan, Hitchcock’s opponent, is running for political office for the first time.
A 45-year resident of the community, Busan has held leadership positions at the Olean Food Pantry, Cutco and the Olean Family YMCA.
Busan feels that Allegany has given her a great life and says that she decided to run for office so that she can give back to the community.
She believes that she offers voters an opportunity “for a new face” on the Allegany Town Board.
For council, four candidates are competing for two positions. One is held by Craig Maguire, who is running for re-election. David Koebelin, the other incumbent, is not running for re-election.
Maguire is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines.
Maguire has experience working on the Highway Department, as well as the Water, Sewer and Technology committees for the Town Council. He also worked at Dresser-Rand and is an alumnus of Rochester Institute of Technology and Archbishop Walsh High School.
Andrew Cooper also is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines. He could not be reached for comment.
Peggy Burke is running on the Democratic and Working Families party lines.
She has served as dean of both the School of Education and the dean of the School of Graduate Studies at St. Bonaventure University.
Burke also has worked with the government at the federal level. In 2012, Burke, who has her doctorate in education, participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the Neurofibromatosis Research Program sponsored by the Department of Defense. Her work consisted of helping Congress determine how to spend $12.8 million on future neurofibromatosis research.
Burke decided to run because she feels that “all politics start at the local level and this is what I can do to honor my belief that I can’t just complain, but I have to have some skin in the game.”
Christina Golly is also running on the Democrat party line. She previously lost elections for town clerk and town supervisor.
She is an employee of Pioneer Credit in Arcade, where she helps those who have defaulted on their student loans. She has also worked in customer service, marketing, advertising sales and retail.
Early voting began on Oct. 26 and ends on Sunday at 5 p.m. The general election will be on Nov. 5, and polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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