Incumbents win on town board with Rozzelle cruising unopposed
Olive had big elections in 2011, when it seemed for a moment that a revived local Republican Party might take over town government, and with one gain ended up with two of five town board seats, as well as in 2013, when long term clerk Sylvia Rozzelle, a lifelong Democrat, rose to become supervisor after the retirement of Berndt Leifeld, and the GOP took a majority of town board seats for the first time in decades.
After a big buildup, and some nail-biting moments early on as returns came in Tuesday night, 2015 might have been one of those big years. But in the end it was all incumbents winning, with the only surprise being attorney and Onteora school board member Tanya Davis winning an open town justice slot.
Unchallenged, Rozzelle received a total of 1034 votes — just slightly down from the 1109 she received in 2013 after a three way race. For town board, incumbent Republican Peter Friedel won his third four-year term with 698 votes, as did fellow GOPer Don VanBuren, who gained a second term with 615 votes. Also running, with some slim hopes for the opening of absentee ballots next week, was Democrat Drew Boggess — just eleven behind, with 604 votes. Bill Melvin, also a Democrat, garnered 577 votes.
In the town justice race, Democrat Tanya Davis defeated Republican candidate John Kurz 645 to 599.
Another ballot measure to increase funding for the Olive Free Library from $129,000 to $133,142 passes 858 to 345.
GOP keeps Hurley
Ten-term Republican town supervisor Gary Bellows was signed on for another two years with a handy repeat victory over former Woodstock supervisor Tracy Kellogg, while incumbent Republican town councilmen John Gill and John Dittus III, easily fended off challenges from Democrats Griffith Liewa and Evan Matthews.
In unofficial results, Bellows tallied 1011 votes (57.1 percent) to Kellogg’s 759 (43 percent. In the town board voting, Gill led the way with 1026, followed by Dittus with 934. Far behind were Matthews with 730 and Liewa with 703.
In the only other contested race in Hurley, incumbent Republican highway superintendent Clyde Russell tallied 985 votes to defeat former Hurley town supervisor Mike Shultis, who got 750 votes.
Town justices Michael F. Jordan and John Parker were reelected without opposition and Judy Mayhon was the only Democrat (also on the Conservative line) to win office in the town, tallying 1431 votes to return as town clerk/tax collector.
A total of 1803 votes were cast in the town, down from the 2215 in 2013’s town elections.