The Putnam Examiner

Voloto, Miller Clinch Trustee Seats; Village Election to Move to November

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Steve Voloto and Lynn Miller won trustee seats on the Cold Spring Village Board.
Steve Voloto and Lynn Miller won trustee seats on the Cold Spring Village Board.

In one of the last March elections Cold Spring will ever see, voters elected newcomer Steve Voloto and one-time trustee Lynn Miller in convincing fashion, while also signing off on moving the local election to November, on March 15.

Voloto, a five-year resident, was the top vote getter, bringing in 400 votes on the Highlands Party line and Miller, a Main Street business owner and 12-year resident, notched 383 votes on the Cooperative Party line. Barney Molloy fell woefully short for the second straight year, collecting 281 votes. There were also 88 write-in votes.

Hearing the results from inside the Cold Spring Firehouse, both Voloto and Miller were exuberant once it was revealed they were elected to sit on the village board for the next two years.

Voloto said he was looking forward to serving on the board. Carrying a calm demeanor, Voloto said he spent the day doing a lot of work for his carpentry business, leaving little time to worry about the election.

Walking around the village for three consecutive weekends, Voloto tried to knock on as many doors as possible and thinks talking one-on-one to folks had a lot to do with his impressive victory. New to politics, Voloto said it took some adjustment.

“That I went through the trouble of actually meeting people,” he said. “I think that was probably an important factor. I don’t really know, maybe people like my last name.”

Miller, who was ecstatic, ran six years ago after she was appointed to the village board for a year and came up short. This time, even though she secured the win, Miller was still a “nervous wreck.”

“I didn’t sleep at all last night,” she said. “Now, I will tonight.”

Supporters, including former trustee Stephanie Hawkins, celebrate a win for Voloto and Miller.
Supporters, including former trustee Stephanie Hawkins, celebrate a win for Voloto and Miller.

Miller said she’s actually enjoyed campaigning the last month, expressing appreciation for the support of her close friends and of residents she grew even closer to leading up to election day. She called the entire process “gratifying.”

Miller’s campaign remained positive and open to everyone’s ideas, she noted, and was a difference between her and her opponent.

Miller said her focus on the village board would immediately turn to finding was to make tourism work for the entire village and not just business owners. She’s optimistic that she and the rest of the board can find solutions.

For the second consecutive year, Molloy lost in a tough race. Last year, the four-year resident ran for mayor, preaching many of the same things he brought up this election cycle. Critical of Mayor Dave Merandy’s management of the village, Molloy said he’d be the only independent voice on the board, especially with outgoing trustees Cathryn Fadde and Michael Bowman not running again.

But Merandy, who was on hand to offer congratulations, said he believed the resounding wins for Voloto and Miller proved most residents approve the direction he’s taking the village.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Merandy said. “I look forward to working with them and they want to work with me so it’s going to be good. We’re going to have a good year.”

Voters also decided that next year would the last March election in Cold Spring’s history. In a 340-291 vote, the election will now take place in November, starting in 2018. Miller and Voloto will serve an additional nine months as a result, as will the two trustees and mayor that win next year.

The Village of Nelsonville, which uses paper ballots, will be the only municipality to still hold a March election in Putnam County.

There’s been talk about whether the election should be moved for years, and now it was finally determined through the ballot box. The move will save the village more than $5,000.

“What I wanted to do is get it out there because it’s been out there for a while and nothing’s ever been done so I just wanted people to have a say and get it off the table,” Merandy said. “It’s off the table now. People had a chance to vote, this is how they voted, that’s democracy.”

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