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3 run for Athens mayor, 4 vie for 2 trustee seats

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March 14, 2019 11:21 pm

ATHENS — Three candidates will be on the ballot for the Athens mayoral race Tuesday and four candidates are running for two village trustee seats.

For MayorPeter Alberti

Age: 48

Occupation: Employed with Town of Athens Highway Department, Deputy Fire Coordinator for Greene County Emergency Services

Alberti is seeking election to a second term on the Republican Party line.

“I have a strong determination and drive to get the job done. I believe in fair dealing,” Alberti said. “We need to continue to listen to all points of view and let the residents of the village have a voice.”

He pointed to his accomplishments as mayor, including new management of the village’s water and sewer treatment facilities, obtaining reimbursement funding for a major storm, creating a local law establishing a tree committee, making changes and additions to the village’s local laws and bringing increased accountability to each village department.

“If re-elected as your public servant, I will strive to do what is best for the residents of the village of Athens,” Alberti said. “I will also offer new ideas for an ever-changing village and state.”

Norman A. Benjamin Jr.

Age: 58

Occupation: Restaurant owner and chef

Education: Coxsackie-Athens High School, New York Job Corps (culinary arts), Fallsburg Community College (hotel technology)

Benjamin is running for office for the first time on the Norman Benjamin Party line. He said his interest in local government began at a young age.

If elected mayor, Benjamin said he plans to keep a close eye on the budget, transfer the village building to the town and address issues he claims are not being handled properly.

“I have been talking with many people and they ask me why am I running for mayor,” Benjamin said. “The answer is simple. I love Athens.”

The top issues facing the village, he said, are staying within the budget, keeping track of village departments with checks and balances and supporting the waterfront.

“If elected or not elected, I will see through issues I think have been neglected,” Benjamin said. “I believe our roads, water, sewer and highway departments have not been treated fairly.”

Stephan Bradicich

Age: 50

Occupation: Technology company executive

Education: Virginia Tech, BS; Boston University, MBA

Bradicich is running for mayor on the Democratic and Independence party lines. He has been an Athens village trustee since 2018.

Bradicich said the top issue facing the village is funding several major upcoming projects.

“Athens has a number of large projects coming up that will require significant capital expenditure,” Bradicich said. “Given our limited budget we must do a better job finding grant money from the state as well as improving our budgeting and spending practices internally. I have been the general manager of a large aerospace design and manufacturing plant and have a great deal of experience getting the job done despite tight budgets.”

If elected mayor, he would try to get more residents involved in the community.

“There are a lot of very talented people in Athens looking for opportunities to get engaged in the community,” Bradicich said. “I saw this leading the passage of tree legislation as a trustee and I look forward to bringing more residents into teams and committees to enable the future of Athens.”

Bradicich served 20 years as a pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps.

For TrusteeJoshua Lipsman

Age: 62

Occupation: Physician and attorney

Education: University of Chicago

Lipsman is running for Athens village trustee on the Democratic and Independence party tickets.

Lipsman said the top issue facing Athens is infrastructure.

“We have crumbling municipal and DPW buildings, water treatment upgrades needed, some notable blighted buildings and neighborhood drainage issues,” Lipsman said. “Economic development, particularly of Second Street, is also a priority.”

If elected, he plans to work with the input of board members and residents to come up with feasible solutions and aggressively seek outside funding for costly projects.

“Our village is charming and the people I’ve met are the best,” Lipsman said. “I look forward to bringing my administrative background and familiarity with local government operations to public service in Athens.”

Robert A. Scott

Age: 46

Occupation: Part-time deputy sheriff with Greene County Sheriff’s Office, retired from Village of Athens Police Department

Education: Columbia-Greene Community College, Zone 14 Law Enforcement Academy

Scott is running for village trustee on the Republican line. The biggest issue for Athens is aging infrastructure, Scott said.

“We have 100-year-old water and sewer lines in some sections of the village that will be needing replacement in the not-too-distant future,” Scott said. “Our Department of Public Works building is in extremely poor condition. The current workspace is inadequate for the DPW staff and storage of equipment. There is no room for expansion at this current facility. Heating and other maintenance costs of this building is becoming more and more expensive. I feel there is an obligation to provide a safer and more efficient workplace for all of our village employees.”

If elected, Scott said he would work with the rest of the board to develop an infrastructure upgrade plan to begin replacing water and sewer lines before there is a major system failure. He would also work on constructing a new public works department building on village-owned land behind the Athens Fire Department, pursue grant funding and encourage business growth in the community.

Amy Serrago

Age: 42

Occupation: Owner of music production company, musician, writer, blogger

Education: New York University

Serrago is running for village trustee on the Democratic and Independence party lines. Aging infrastructure is at the top of her list of priorities.

“Our aging infrastructure is badly in need of upgrades,” Serrago said. “My team and I are focused on aggressively pursuing state and federal grant money to achieve those goals.”

She also wants to make local government more transparent.

“If elected, I hope to increase transparency in village government by developing better methods of sharing and exchanging information with residents,” she said. “I look forward to hearing the ideas and concerns of my neighbors here in Athens Village and ensuring that their voice is heard in local government. The opportunity to help Athens Village thrive without sacrificing its historic charm and character is one that I treasure.”

Shannon Spinner

Age: 36

Occupation: Claims administrative support specialist for Progressive Insurance

Education: Coxsackie-Athens High School

Spinner has been a member of the village board since 2017 and is seeking election to a second term on the Republican Party line.

“There are always issues to address in any community. I’m not here to make promises or to give false hope,” Spinner said. “I am but one of five people on the village board and we can only hope to be able to work as a team and do good by residents and taxpayers of the village.”

She said infrastructure is one of the village’s top priorities.

“One of the issues we hope to further address is the infrastructure of the village,” Spinner said. “This has been something that we as a board, throughout my first term, have been working on. With the aging water and sewer lines under our streets, we are hoping to move forward with further research on perhaps obtaining grant funding to update it.”