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Village to consider extending terms for mayor, trustees

— At its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, the Village of Liverpool Board of Trustees will discuss the possibility of lengthening the terms of office for the mayor and the four trustees.

All five presently serve two-year terms, but Mayor Gary White would like the board to consider lengthening the terms to four years each. The village justice currently serves a four-year term.

The cost of conducting annual village elections is one consideration, White said, and he also believes that, once elected, new trustees and mayors need a more time to acquaint themselves with the requirements of the office.

“There are a couple of reasons to consider extending the terms,” White said. “For one thing, over the past 10 years the vast majority of our elections have been non-contested. There’s not much interest in running for office, I guess, and then when they’re uncontested it’s really an exercise in futility.”

With new federal regulations mandating electronic voting machines, the cost of conducting elections could easily double.

“The new ballot process mandated by the government could be very expensive, White said. He asked Village Clerk Mary Ellen Sims to present estimated figures on election costs to the trustees on Oct. 15. Right now the village owns its own lever-operated voting machines and pays about $700 for election inspectors. Under the new system, the cost of each election could rise to $2,000.

Newly elected candidates need more than two years to fully co0me to grips with their new jobs, the mayor said.

“There’s a learning curve for new trustees,” White said. “It takes time for them to learn how it works, how the budget process works and how to become an effective representative. It doesn’t happen overnight.”

White encouraged village residents to attend the Oct. 15 meeting at the Village Hall, 310 Sycamore St. “I’m really not sure if our residents are for [extending the terms] or not, but it is responsible to talk about it. Other villages have converted to four-year terms, so we should at least talk about it.”

White and the four trustees — Dennis Hebert, Bob Gaetano, Nick Kochan and Jim Rosier — are all Republicans.

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