Wollman, Grossman win re-election

By Pauline Liu
The 153 ballots cast in last Tuesday’s Fleischmanns village election for two trustee positions were recounted on Thursday at the request of one of the challengers. 

When it was all over, four ballots, which had been filled out incorrectly, were thrown out and the recount didn’t change the outcome of the four-way race.  The incumbents, Harriet Grossman and Fred Woller, were re-elected. They will begin their new two-year terms on April 1.  The final tally was; 48 votes for Grossman, 41 for Woller, 33 for Larry Reilly, and 25 for Martin Morales.

The ballots that were thrown out cost each of the candidates the loss of a vote or two. “My opinion was that if the intent was clear, the vote should be counted,” said Woller. “Mr. Reilly questioned the process, called for a recount, and lost votes as a result.” Grossman had no comment about the recount or her election win.

The recount was conducted at Reilly’s request. He ran as a write-in candidate. He is also chairman of the village planning board. The recount was held last Thursday at the Skene Memorial Library and conducted by Deputy Commissioners Robin Alger and Paula Schermerhorn of the Delaware County Board of Elections. Reilly sat in and watched as the recount took place, as did Grossman. After it was completed, he turned to Grossman and offered his congratulations. “Oh sure, I’m satisfied,” said Reilly. “I requested it because write-in ballots can be tricky, as we saw today.”

Village Clerk Lorraine DeMarfio, who participated in the recount along with Election Inspector Pat Maxim and Back-up Inspector Dorothy Minion, explained to Reilly, why they decided the four ballots shouldn’t be included. “Larry, they wrote your name in the wrong box, if it were to go into a machine, it wouldn’t count,” said DeMarfio. “So we couldn’t count it. My thing is, we have to look at each ballot like it’s going to go through the computer.”

Reilly and his running mate, write-in candidate Morales, pulled together a last-minute campaign just days before the election. Their campaign won the support of the other half of the village board, Trustee Ben Fenton and Acting Mayor Todd Pascarella.

“When the mayor resigned and the (village) board refused to appoint a mayor, we decided to run,” said Reilly.

Mayor Dave Morell resigned on February 17 with a year left to his term. An effort to appoint Pascarella as mayor ended with a 2-2 deadlock, with Grossman and Woller voting against the appointment.

Morales, who owns Mi Lupita Restaurant and Grocery, is a former village trustee. He explained that he stepped down in 2010 to focus on the renovation of his business.  Now that the renovation is complete, he’s been considering a return to politics.

“I’m not discouraged,” he said. “I’ll run again in two years. Definitely.”

Woller explained that last August’s flood caused $11,000 worth of damage to his home and destroyed his beloved garden, but it did not effect his willingness to help his community.

“I was out there evacuating people during the flood and volunteering and working with crews to clear debris in the days and weeks after the hurricane,” he said. “I will continue to give my time to the running and beautification of Fleischmanns, and if people with an interest in Fleischmanns wish to, they can come out on weekends and sweat along with me (without all the cameras and publicity).” 

In Village of Margaretville voting last Tuesday, David Budin and Fred Miller were unopposed in their re-election bids and received 20 and 25 votes, respectively.