In this year's Baldwinsville Public Library Board of Trustee election, there are two incumbents, Bruce King and Jacqueline Olmsted, running unopposed for the seats they currently hold, and five candidates running to fill the unexpired two-year term for the seat formerly held by retired trustee Nelson Butler. The following are brief profiles on each of the five candidates:
As a 34-year Baldwinsville resident, Linda Clarkson has always enjoyed visiting the Baldwinsville Public Library with her husband, Bob, and children, Lindsay and John. Reading has been one of Clarkson's greatest pleasures since a child growing up in New York City, slipping five books into the suitcase for the beach or reading to her 6-week-old grandchild.
Before she retired, Clarkson was a classroom teacher, reading teacher and principal in the East Syracuse-Minoa School District for 35 years. Promoting reading and lifelong learning was an educational focus in her career. She said, "There is nothing as exciting as watching a child actively engaged in reading and sharing that wonderful sensation with others."
Clarkson has worked collaboratively as a board member of several not-for-profit organizations including St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Council; and Radisson Community Association and NYSACE (CNY and State educational organization). She looks forward to the challenges and rewards of supporting innovative programs, seeking financial grants and providing enhanced community activities for the Baldwinsville Public Library. "Libraries and literacy is a natural and essential part of Baldwinsville life," she said.
Steven Garraffo obtained his first library card in 1970 and remembers how exciting it was to use that card to take out his first book. Forty years and thousands of borrowed books later, he is a candidate for Library Trustee.
Garraffo currently serves as executive director for curriculum development and library director for Liverpool Schools. A history degree and years teaching citizenship have given him a desire for public service. "Serving an organization with literacy at the heart of every decision is a powerful way to give back to the community," he said. "I believe my years in education will allow me to serve the Library well."