Salina Town Democratic Chairman Chris Shepherd believes there’s a conspiracy afoot in Liverpool.
He thinks Republicans have registered as Democrats in the village with plans to infiltrate and sabotage any village Democratic caucus that might try to form here.
Why would the local GOP adopt such covert operations, disguising themselves as Democrats?
Shepherd, who works a day job at the Onondaga County Board of Elections, told me he knows how and why such shenanigans happen because local Dems themselves have done the same. He recalls infiltrating the local Conservative Party in order to get that party to cross-endorse Democrat candidates.
“We know it can be done because we’ve done it ourselves,” Shepherd said.
Whatever you think of Shepherd’s conspiracy theory, Democrats are closing the door on a rare opportunity: registered Dems now outnumber Republicans in the village by more than 30 voters, 521 to 490, according to the Onondaga County Board of Elections.
As of late February, the BOE listed 521 Democrats, 490 Republicans, 410 village voters not enrolled in any party, 83 Independents, 24 Conservatives, two Working Families Party members and two Green Party members, for a total of 1,532 eligible voters out of a population of some 2,300.
As recently as four years ago, in 2013, Republicans outnumbered Democrats here by some three dozen voters. Now Dems have the advantage. Another 497 independent and non-enrolled voters are also on the books here, and such voters historically tend to vote for Democrats.
Republicans have dominated village government for decades and have enjoyed largely unchallenged control for the past 16 years. No opposition party has formed since the 2001 election, in which Republican Marlene Ward defeated incumbent Democratic Mayor Jon Zappola to become the first female mayor in village history.
Democrats have failed to field any candidate for village office since 2001, and has not conducted a caucus since that year, more than decade and a half ago.
This year’s village election is set for June 20.
Even without a caucus, Democrats could run for village office, Shepherd said, by passing petitions to get listed on the ballot.
Chris Shepherd will put aside politics for a couple weeks this month as he portrays the poker player Roy in Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” being staged by CNY Playhouse, at Shoppingtown DeWitt, April 14 to 29. Another local Democrat, Salina Second Ward Councilor Jim Magnarelli, will also shuffle the cards, playing the gruff and sarcastic Speed.
CNY Playhouse is located near the Macy’s entrance at on the second level of Shoppingtown Mall. Tickets cost $15 on Thursday and Sunday and $17 on Friday and Saturday; cnyplayhouse.org; 885-8960.
Former Liverpool Mayor Jim Farrell has moved to the Denver, Colorado, area. Farrell also served as an Onondaga County legislator, representing Liverpool. He’s a Republican, natch!
The 20th anniversary Jumpin’ Jazz Jam will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, at the Liverpool High School Auditorium, on Wetzel Road, in the town of Clay. Special guest will be Sherrie Maricle & The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, an accomplished 15-piece big band. The Liverpool Honors Middle School Jazz Band, the LHS Stage Band and the LHS Jazz Ensemble also will perform that evening. Tickets cost $10 and can be reserved by calling the LHS Music Department at (315) 453-1500, or visiting goo.gl/forms/G2KIrb8MgaySPaCn2.
This month, the Jazz Appreciation Society of Syracuse will stage its open Jam Session from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, at Uriah’s Restaurant, 7990 Oswego Road (Route 57), in Liverpool. Admission is free, and all musicians and vocalists — including those talented LHS musicians — are invited to sit in.
Could be a rare opportunity to dig some Dixieland while sampling Uriah’s tasty appetizers such as duck confit poutine; uriahsplace.com;
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