Democrats voted for same old
Incumbents are endorsed at village caucus
By Willie Kiernan
With ground roots democracy at work, the Democratic Party held a mandatory caucus in the judge's chambers in the municipal building Thursday April 26. The reason for the caucus was to nominate candidates to run for village office. Cazenovia Village Trustee Barb Bennett was the acting chairperson for the meeting.
Required by state law, the Democratic Party must hold a caucus before village elections for the selection of candidates. In other parties, such as Republican, Independent, Conservative, 50 signatures are required by candidates. The Board of Elections in Wampsville is the authority of the Cazenovia Village elections, which are governed by state rule.
For many years in Cazenovia, the village ran its own elections. They used a union caucus and alternately chose Republicans and Democrats to run unopposed for office. Since the position of trustee required much work for little pay, and candidates were hard to find, this was the logical way of going about it. Cross-endorsement occurred on a regular basis. A trustee would typically be decided upon and then spend two years overseeing streets and sidewalks, then two years at parks and recreation, two years at water and sewer and two years as police and fire commissioner. After eight years of civic service, the trustee would then be crowned mayor.
In 1999, Dennis Gregg ran for mayor. He was opposed by Shane Emerson and Bill Rush. Politics in Cazenovia would never again be the same. After Dennis Gregg won the election, the authority to hold village elections went to Wampsville and state rule.
This year, there are two trustee seats and the mayoral seat up for election. Mayor Tom Dougherty is running unopposed. Trustee Dave Vredenburgh, a Republican, is running again after nine years on the board. Trustee Barb Bennett's seat is also up for election. She was appointed by the mayor when Troy Waffner stepped down mid-term. Bennett, a Democrat, is choosing not to run. Republican, Tom Tait is running for village trustee as well as Russ Brownback, Independent.