As the second Tuesday in November rapidly approaches, the race for a seat on Cazenovia’s Town Council is heating up.
This year, two seats on the town board, and the position of town of Cazenovia Supervisor will be up for grabs. The positions of Cazenovia Town Clerk and Madison County Judge are also up for election, Linda Mather and Dennis K. McDermott are running unopposed, respectively.
Three candidates are vying for two spots on the town board, and the position of town of Cazenovia Supervisor will be decided between two hopeful candidates. Voting will be held from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 8, at three different polling sites; the Malcom Taylor Post in New Woodstock, the Cazenovia American Legion on Chenango Street and Cazenovia High School. Voters will be notified of which polling place they’re assigned to.
Ralph Monforte is the current town of Cazenovia Supervisor, and is hoping for the opportunity to complete a second term. He is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines. A long-time resident of Cazenovia, he started and grew a successful retail business, Cazenovia Jewelry, in the last 24 years.
Monforte has occupied seats on many area committees and organizations. He was president of Rotary, director of Cazenovia Children’s House, a two-term president of the Cazenovia Lake Association, co-chaired the Cazenovia Area Planning Project and was chairman, as well as the economic development chair of the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce. Monforte was a founding member of the Cazenovia Lake Association and the Cazenovia Rowing Club, and was an active member of the Cazenovia Fourth of July Race Committee, as well as the Cazenovia Winterfest Committee.
As a community leader, Monforte said he is dedicated, and actively involved in fundraising for state and local organizations as well as participating in by-law updates for numerous boards. He also said he is experienced in purchasing capital equipment, creating and executing action plans as well as creating employment opportunities for local residents.
Tom Clarke will be the candidate running against Monforte for the position of town supervisor. Running on the Democratic and Strong Community Party lines, Clarke is interested in continuing his long-time involvement with both the village and town. He served as a village trustee for 13 years, as deputy mayor and mayor, as well as chief operator of the Madison County Sewer District for 27 years.
“I’ve learned a great deal about municipal planning, operations, budgeting and the need to cooperate with many constituencies. I look forward to continuing my service to the Town of Cazenovia,” Clarke said. “I am eager to take on the demands of the position and have the time, skills, knowledge and energy to do it well.”
In addition to his civic duties, Clarke has also been an integral part of the Cazenovia Fire Department, Cazenovia Lake Association, CACDA Board of Directors and is now Vice-President of CazCares.
Clarke said he understands the needs of Cazenovia residents, including those in New Woodstock and the village. He admits change is inevitable, but believes change can be carefully managed to preserve historic and natural resources, while encouraging a healthy retail, commercial and agricultural environment.
Liz Moran is running for the position of Cazenovia Town Councilor on the Democratic and Strong Party lines. She and her husband, Dr. Marco Coronado, moved to Cazenovia in 1984, after she completed her doctorate in water resources at Cornell. Moran was then employed by Sterns and Wheler as an environmental scientist, specializing in water quality and management of lakes and watersheds.
A former town of Cazenovia supervisor for four years, she adopted a Comprehensive Plan, revised zoning and subdivision laws, created the Cazenovia Lake Watershed Council, began a lake restoration program and made the elected office of highway superintendent an appointed position — allowing the town to manage a significant part of their municipal budget.
“Hydrofracking is a concern, and I have the professional background and experience to help ensure that our natural resources are protected as this, and other, energy sources are developed,” Moran said. “I am committed to open and participatory government, and will work hard to improve communications between the town government and the community.”
Since 1997, she has been President of EcoLogic, LLC. Moran currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Madison County IDA, and chairs the Task Force developing the county’s economic development strategy.
Jennifer Basic is running for a seat as Cazenovia Town Councilor on the Republican line. A past president of the Madison County Bar Association, she received her law degree from Syracuse University College of Law, and master’s degree from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 2000. She acquired her undergraduate degree
Using the campaign slogan “Basic Principles,” she believes that Cazenovia Lake should be monitored and maintained – both as a source for community enjoyment and to promote local tourism for tax dollars. She enjoys all the programs and people Cazenovia and New Woodstock boast, but said that residents need to be able to use their property within the spirit of the Comprehensive Plan without excessive cost and bureaucracy.
“I believe that Cazenovia needs responsible development where our community can attract and keep our young families and allow our seniors to age in place so we can maintain a diverse and healthy population. By encouraging responsible growth, we can increase our tax base and maintain needed services and infrastructure,” Basic said. “In the event that services between the village and town can be consolidated without impacting the level of service to our citizens and community, it should be done.”
Bill Zupan is a current member of the board, having served for the last four years, and is looking to continue serving as a town councilor for another two-year term. He is running on the Democratic and Strong Party lines. A life-long resident of Cazenovia, Zupan graduated the local high school in 1968, attended Hobart College and joined his father’s consdturction business in New Woodstock upon graduation.
He served on the Cazenovia Zoning Board of Appeals for 17 years, the last eight years as chairman, and sat on the Lake Watershed Committee that looked at laws to protect the lake.
As a board member, he has overseen two lake-wide treatments for Eurasian Watermilfoil in the last three years and helped implement inspections at the village launch and the closing of the south end of the lake to large boats
“If re-elected I will continue to advocate for the health of Cazenovia Lake, will work to implement laws to protect the environment against the harmful effects of hydrofracking and to insure that the sidewalks are repaired in new Woodstock,” Zupan said. “I believe that Cazenovia is a great place to live, and with everyone’s help, it can be better.”
More information on candidates and polling places can be found online, at madisoncounty.org/boe, or by calling the Madison County Board of Elections at 366-2231.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.