Village elections: Ivers and Lee compete for the post of mayor of Geneseo | Local News

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Two current Geneseo village board members are running for mayor in the March 15 village elections.

Eddie Lee and Christopher Ivers are seeking to succeed Margaret Duff, who has opted out of running. Duff has served as mayor since 2018 and as a board member since 2010.

Lee has served on the board since 2020. Lee said he believes the community is his office and seeks to focus on sustainability, budgeting and economic development.

Ivers has served on the board since 2018. Ivers said he believes he will be a mayor for all and is looking to focus on infrastructure, improving village services and promoting regional tourism .

Ivers works on both Republican and Geneseo United lines. Lee is running under Democratic and Geneseo Together lines for Mayor of Geneseo.

The polling stations for the municipal elections will be open from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Ivers has lived in Geneseo for over 25 years. He and his family, which includes twins who attend Geneseo Central School, have lived in Geneseo since Ivers attended and graduated from SUNY Geneseo.

“I never left – I just fell in love with the village and my wife,” Ivers said with a laugh.

Ivers was elected to the village council in 2018 and is the current deputy mayor.

“Mayor Duff’s departure, which left a bit of a void, and I thought I’d throw my hat away. I think you know working with her and working with the board has taught me a lot and I think I can fulfill that role,” Ivers said.

Ivers has served as the Administrative Manager of Allegany County Public Safety Facilities since 2003. He oversees an $8 million annual budget, day-to-day operations, more than 100 employees, and has led multimillion-dollar capital improvement projects. dollars.

Ivers has been with the Association for the Preservation of Geneseo for six years and is the village council liaison for the organization.

“I strongly believe in getting involved and giving back to the community you live in,” Ivers said.

Ivers said that as deputy mayor he has reinforced his responsibility to participate in things. But the knowledge base is mostly acquired through active participation on the board. Getting time in meetings and learning what needs to be done in the village and how to get things done, including the budget process and staffing issues and where they can improve efficiency are all appreciated by Ivers.

“Local government really plays a huge role in driving infrastructure decisions, whether it’s physical infrastructure or economic infrastructure for small businesses to come in and exist,” Ivers said. “I think those are important things to pay attention to.”

One of the projects Ivers is looking to pursue if elected mayor would be the drainage systems affecting Second and Oak streets. The south end of Second Street was repaired a few years ago and the project is moving north.

“Who is passionate about drainage and sewage systems, right? Like who does that? laughed Ivers. “But my personality lends itself to it – if that’s the project for me, if that’s the problem to be solved, I’m pretty passionate about it.”

Ivers has been involved in the restoration and modernization of the village since the beginning of his tenure as administrator. He was instrumental in instituting an electronic payroll system as well as creating access to online bill payment.

“I think the village office could be more efficient with a bit more technology. And that’s not to say the people who work there aren’t efficient – they are – we’ve only just found out where we can pay our bills online, but I’d like to see more efficiency with online, interactive and online communication with what’s going on in the village,” Ivers said. “I know it’s online and I can go find it. I just have the impression that it is very difficult to exploit this data.

Ivers also wants to address personnel issues as over the next 10 years he believes there should be good people in leadership positions so there is no panic or confusion about what he is doing. to do when someone retires.

He also wants to explore ways to improve the village by expanding the use of the park, expanding the ability to walk in the community, and continuing community initiative efforts to make Geneseo a place where everyone feels welcome.

“I’m proud of the group of people I interact with on a regular basis. I just feel like they’re so smart and they’re so good and I’m just lucky to be part of that group of people. I think that sets me apart as a candidate,” Ivers said.

Lee graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 1976 with a degree in political science. He was hired in Albany, initially working for Governor Carey’s administration. He then spent the next 33 years in Albany as a public administrator working primarily in the area of ​​public finance and budgeting, as well as the programmatic area of ​​developmental disabilities.

After being involved with the Geneseo Alumni Association and other nonprofit groups, Lee’s wife found a home in Geneseo that she loved and they decided to return in 2010.

“I have always been interested in public service. I did it as a civil servant in Albany and when I came back to Geneseo I noticed that local government really wasn’t something people paid attention to, so I started attending meetings of the advice right away,” Lee said. “If I can’t influence change from the outside, maybe I can influence it from the inside.”

After announcing his intention to seek the mayoral nomination, in 2018 he stood down in favor of Duff. He then ran for village administrator in 2020 and was elected with 359 nods.

“Now that I’ve been inside, watching how government operations work, I see we really have an opportunity to change things because we tend to be very bureaucratic at times and there’s a lot of stuff going on. agenda,” Lee said.

Lee wants to see that the village is more successful in communicating with the villagers, spreading the word about all the good things they are doing, and continuing to discuss all the things that still need to be done for the future. He also strives to see long-term budgeting done for the village and that there needs to be better communication when it comes to his budgets.

Lee wants to increase sustainability, community mobility, and other infrastructure and efficiencies through Geneseo.

“I think people will tell you that they see me on the street a lot. It’s because I tend to want to talk to people, listen to them and ask them how they are doing. said Lee. “So I try to talk to everyone here and I feel good listening to people because that’s how you find out what’s going on.”

Lee is proud of his community involvement. Walking down Main Street or sitting in a cafe talking to residents, he feels the community is his office.

“While mayor and administrators are technically a part-time job, I see it as a full-time responsibility and to do that you have to talk to people, listen to people in the neighborhood, walk around, be visible,” a said Lee.

Lee has volunteered at Wadsworth Library, Special Olympics, Geneseo Alumni Association, and Livingston County Cooperative Extension, to name a few. Lee strives to make the community feel included and heard, and said it’s very important to be involved.

“I’m very concerned that my opponent is — and I respect that he’s a public servant right now — but he’s a public servant in Allegany County, over an hour from Geneseo. So I’m very concerned about how he can do the full time job of being Mayor of Geneseo…it’s a tough job, to be here 24/7 you really have to be here 24/7 to be a good mayor and effective mayor of Geneseo,” Lee said. “I’m doing it because I live here. I think it is very difficult to do this work if you are not physically present here. I respect that he’s a public servant and I’m sure he’s doing a great job in Allegany County, but I think you have to be here in Geneseo.

To view sample ballots and polling location information, visit the Livingston County Board of Elections website at https://tinyurl.com/yez25p2k.

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