Saugerties village mayor William Murphy and three village trustees, Jeannine Mayer, Jeff Helmuth and Brian Martin, are up for election next Tuesday to new two-year terms. But they won’t ne unopposed. Running against them are mayoral candidate Donald Hackett, currently a trustee, and trustee candidate Stephen Beckert. Polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. next Tuesday at the village hall at 43 Partition Street.
In 2010, Murphy stepped in to complete the term of former mayor Robert Yerick, who retired. He is running for his fifth full term on the New Vision Party line, along with incumbents Mayer, Helmuth and Martin. Hackett and Beckert are running on the Unity Party line.
Hackett, who has served as a trustee since 2010, stresses increasing shared services between the town and the village.His responsibilities on the board include liaison to the village planning board, zoning board and wastewater department. He favors regular inspections of all apartment buildings to ensure they are safe and up to code. He also has a particular interest in clearing the weeds from the Esopus Creek opposite the village beach.
Murphy says consolidating services only makes sense if both the village and the town have something to gain. He is also concerned about the weeds choking the Esopus and wants to see the former Dragon Inn restored.
The mayor is employed by IBM. His job allows him flexible hours and the ability to work from home, he said. He was appointed during the negotiations that led to consolidation of the village and town police forces. He also says he would favor further consolidation only if it is clear that both the village and the town would benefit from the arrangement.
Deputy mayor and trustee Jeanine Mayer, a lifelong resident of Saugerties, is a relationship manager at M&T Bank. She is running for her fifth term on the board. She is a graduate of Saugerties High School and holds a business degree from Ulster County Community College. She is active member of the Kiwanis Club, and has served as coordinator of the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival.
Her responsibilities include special events, public relation, television station TV23 and participation in the revolving loan and comprehensive plan committees.
Jeff Helmuth is a licensed professional engineer.employed by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.. Appointed to the village board in 2016 and elected in 2017, he chaired the village planning board for several years. Helmuth, liaison to the waterfront advisory board, has a particular interests in the Esopus Creek. His engineering background and qualification as a water treatment plant operator are valuable in his role a liaison to the water plant, he said.
Brian Martin is seeking his fourth term on the village board. He is a retired village heavy equipment operator and a former village fire chief. He was named firefighter of the year in 2016, his third such honor. He is the board liaison to the fire and buildings and grounds departments, Seamon Park and the tree commission.
Stephen Beckert is running for the board for the first time. He is running with Hackett on the Unity Party line. Beckert has been an electrician at Northeast Solite for 35 years and is a member of Local 825 of the Operating Engineers. He was approached by Hackett, a good friend, to run with him because the two have similar ideas, he said. In particular, he would like to see more shared services between the town and village, and a removal of the water chestnuts that clog the Esopus Creek. Beckert is a 20-year member of the Saugerties Power Boar Association and a past commander and current treasurer of the Sons of the American Legion.