In the nine villages of Otsego County, only one has any contested races — the tiny community of Gilbertsville, located in the town of Butternuts. And it has two such matchups, one for mayor and one for a vacant village trustee position.
The current mayor, Diane Gallo, a writer and artist, had been a village trustee for about two years when, in November, her predecessor, Shirley Musson, died soon after being diagnosed with cancer, officials said. Gallo then became the mayor, leaving one of the trustee spots open.
Gallo is seeking to keep the mayor’s job, saying she wants to continue to promote the importance of home rule for her community.
“If you take local government out of local control, it becomes outsourced,” she said. “It is right at the heart of everything. If we have no control locally, we haven’t got it anywhere.”
She noted her civic involvement includes working on the comprehensive plan for the town of Butternuts. “Willing to serve is different than willing to run,” she said.
Said Nolan: “I think my greatest qualification is I have lived here all my life. I served the town and the village for 27 years. I know about all the problems here. I graduated from school here. I have always been able to confer with people. When you get elected, you are not elected to pursue your own opinion. When the majority of the people say they want something done, that’s what you do.”
Gallo is running as an independent, while Nolan has been endorsed by county Democrats. The two Gilbertsville candidates for the trustee seat that was vacated by Gallo are Kristina Strain, who is aligned with Gallo, and Barbara Prostak, who is aligned with Nolan.
Gilbertsville voters, as with voters in most upstate villages, will choose their candidates using paper ballots that will be counted by hand, not the optical scanning devices required in state and federal contests.