Westfield election to cost more than $2,300
On the New York election calendar, today is village elections, although very little is happening locally.
Of the 13 villages in Chautauqua County, only two have elections today — Westfield and Sinclairville. Neither one has any competitive races but that doesn’t mean they’re without costs.
The Chautauqua County Board of Elections runs Westfield’s elections, while Sinclairville handles its own.
According to the county Board of Elections, Dennis Lutes is running for mayor in Westfield. He is endorsed by both the Democratic and Republican parties. There are two trustee seats available. Joshua Freifeld and Judith Einach are both running for trustee. Both Freifeld and Einach have been endorsed by both the Republican and Democratic parties.
Republican Election Commissioner Brian Abram said over the years, most villages in Chautauqua County moved its March elections to November, beginning with Fredonia and Celoron, and most recently Cassadaga.
The push to have the county run village elections came from outside groups, including the League of Women Voters that argued that the county is better equipped to run elections than villages. Also, it avoids any perceived conflict of interest.
One advantage of the November elections, Abram noted, is more people participate. “When you have it in November you get a bigger turnout. Obviously, there’s more opportunities on the ballot for all the other levels of government,” he said.
The second advantage is cost. The county Board of Elections must charge Westfield to run the March election, but there is no charge to any of the villages who have their elections in November. “The cost is absorbed by the county for the elections,” he said.
According to Abram, the county Board of Elections in in 2022 charged Westfield $2,349 to run its election. “With minimum wage going up it will be higher but it will be very close,” he said.
According to Darla Frost-Kianos, Sinclairville village clerk, James Kianos Jr. is running unopposed for mayor. William France and Dean Houser are both running for the two trustee seats.
In Cattaraugus County, there are seven villages with elections today. They take place in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Franklinville, Gowanda, Little Valley, Portville and South Dayton. Like Chautauqua County, all of the races are uncontested.
In Gowanda, David Smith is running for mayor. Carol Sheibley and Paul Zimmermann are running for the two trustee seats. All three candidates are running on the Allegiance Party line.
In South Dayton, Robert Killock is running for mayor. Melinda Frederickson and Jonathan Mosher are running for two trustee seats with two-year terms, and Kevin Butcher is running for trustee for a one-year term to fill a vacancy. All four candidates are running on the Republican Party line.
In Cattaraugus, there aren’t enough candidates on the ballot to fill open seats. Wirt Smith is running for mayor. There are two seats open for trustee. Tara Beth Perkins is the only trustee candidate on the ballot. Both Smith and Perkins are running on the Republican line.
In Allegany, Gregory W. Pearl is running for mayor. Robert Barton and Marjorie Walsh are running for the two trustee seats. All candidates are running on the Republican line.
In Franklinville, Michael J. Sikora is running for mayor for a one-year term to fill a vacancy. Paul D. Rose is running for trustee for a one-year term to fill a vacancy. They are both running on the Republican line.
In Little Valley, James Bowen is running for mayor. Craig Bedell and Todd Palmatier are running for two trustee seats. All candidates are running on the Republican line.
In Portville, Anthony Evans is running for mayor. Ronald Lott Jr. and Matthew Jacob Reisman are running for two trustee seats. All candidates are running on the Republican line.
Polls will be open in both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties from noon to 9 p.m.