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Liverpool: Race for justice on in the village

Independent candidates must gather at least 50 signatures of registered voters from within the village in order to be placed on the ballot. The deadline is May 13.

Regarding Alessio's move-in-progress, LaValle said, "Everyone will have to make up their own minds about that."

Alessio, who recently lost a protracted legal battle over a closely contested election for Salina Town Justice, thinks LaValle is posturing.

"LaValle has been running around for the past two months telling people he wasn't running," Alessio said. "Maybe he did that thinking I'd show up at the caucus without people to support me."

Prevailed at caucus

Though he prevailed at the caucus, Alessio said he was surprised by the closeness of the vote. The residency issue concerned those who voted against him, Alessio said.

"Residency is dear to people who live in the village and that's their prerogative," he said, "so that's what I'm going to do, live in the village."

Alessio emphasized that although he has lived about two miles from the village, he has always maintained strong ties to Liverpool.

"My community roots are in Liverpool" he said. "The village has always been the focal point. I shop at Nichols. I go to The Retreat. I get my hair cut in the village."

Alessio has been the president of the Liverpool Public Library Board of Directors for two years, and has served on the board for 16 years.

Seated as acting judge

Since the Dec. 31 retirement of Judge Herman Harding, Alessio has been on the bench in Village Court every Tuesday as acting village justice. In January Mayor Marlene Ward had proposed eliminating the residency requirement for the judgeship, but after LaValle waged a door-to-door campaign opposing that move, the board of trustees voted unanimously on Feb. 11 to retain the requirement.

The village justice earns about $7,000 annually, while the acting judge is paid $900.

LaValle, who admires Harding and considers him a friend, said he has long wanted to serve as village justice but would never have opposed Harding.

"I waited to run in deference to Judge Herman Harding's long tenure as our village justice," LaValle said. "Now that he's retired, I will attempt to follow in his footsteps as our village judge."

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