Despite concerns about voter confusion, this year’s village of Rhinebeck trustee election went off without a hitch on March 18.
A total of 181 voters showed up at the polls and voted Heath Tortarella, who is not affiliated with a party but ran on the Democratic line, into his first full two-year trustee term, with 164 votes. Tortarella is currently serving as interim mayor and has said that if the board is willing to appoint him as interim mayor for 2014-15 starting April 1, he would be willing to continue serving.
Newcomer Gary Kenton, a Democrat, ran on a third-party “Rhinebeck United” line and won the second open trustee seat, with 131 votes. “It’s very gratifying to win an election…I’ve already gotten involved in some of the day-to-day [village] operations and I’m looking forward to working with the other trustees on all the business that comes before the board,” Kenton told the Observer.
Incumbent trustee Brant Neuneker, a Democrat, also appeared on the ballot and got 58 votes. Shortly before the election, he had announced his intention to resign his trustee position at the end of the month after serving two two-year terms. In his resignation statement, he thanked the many people he has served with in local government. “It has been a great pleasure to work with all village employees and volunteer board members. Thanks to all of you and special thanks to [interim village clerk] Pat Coon,” he said in the statement.
In Tivoli, meanwhile, an uncontested election drew 70 voters (including four absentee ballots), with 68 voting their support for incumbent Deputy Mayor and trustee Joel Griffith, who is not a registered member of a political party, and 54 endorsing Jeanann Schneider, a Republican.
This will be Griffith’s second term and Schneider’s first full term; she was appointed to former Deputy Mayor Michael Leedy’s seat after he resigned in June 2013.