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March 22, 2013

Hours an issue in Gilbertsville runoff

By Richard Whitby
The Daily Star

---- — Trustees in the village of Gilbertsville will meet Monday to decide on a date for a runoff election in the mayoral race between acting Mayor Diane Gallo and challenger Kenneth Nolan who both received 61 votes in Tuesday’s balloting.

The election would be held April 2, and Nolan said he hopes that this time the voting hours will follow the times set down in the village charter.

Nolan said this week that the polling hours set up by the village — 2 to 7 p.m. — should have been set at noon to 9 p.m., the minimum required by the charter.

Nolan said he fielded complaints from residents unable to vote.

“Many of them called me and said, ‘I can’t vote because I work second shift at Amphenol,’ or ‘When I get home, I have to pick up my kids.’”

Nolan said Gallo, who was appointed mayor after the elected mayor, Shirley Musson, died in November, set those hours.

Gallo denied Thursday that she was responsible for choosing the polling hours but said it was her understanding that they were the usual times. 

“They do that because, in the past, if 12 people come out for an election, that’s a lot,” she said.

“I was delighted that we both won,” Gallo said. “I was delighted that nobody lost. … And I was wondering about the possibility of joining forces in a coalition, rather than splitting the village.”

“I would much rather do something that could create harmony than create dissension,” she added.

She said she would be recusing herself from Monday’s decision on the runoff.