BUCHANAN, N.Y. – Candidates have been chosen by GOP and Democratic parties for the upcoming Village of Buchanan election. Buchanan Democrats unanimously nominated Mayor Sean Murray for reelection, and Richard Funchion and Nick Zachary for reelection as trustees.
GOP opposition to the three incumbent Democrats include mayoral candidate Al Donahue, and Angelo Iachomini and Edward Del Monte for trustee positions. All positions are two-year terms.
Murray said he plans to run a positive campaign, saying, "I prefer not to dig up the past I’d like to look to the future." Murray, Funchion and Zachary were elected in April 2010.
Donahue said he was “concerned” about a number of issues supported by the current administration, including the tax cap override and the village board's decision to hire a prosecutor about six months ago. Donahue called the prosecutor "a waste of money."
“I’m very concerned about the board voting unanimously to override the tax cap,” said Donahue, implying that the village board intended to raise taxes above that level because they passed a tax cap override measure. Donahue has served six previous terms as mayor.
Other municipalities, including Croton, have overridden the tax cap as a precautionary measure. If the village were to miscalculate the tax levy, it could be forced to put all monies that exceed a 2 percent tax levy into a reserve fund to offset future expenditures.
Murray said the tax cap override was passed partially because of contracts passed by Donahue, which included no medical contributions and 3 percent annual raises for uniform and non-uniform employees.
Donahue, a retired New York State Trooper and former president of the Fraternal Order of New York State Troopers, paid a $5,100 fine for misdirecting funds collected for orphans and widows of New York State Troopers by the Fraternal Order. According to a settlement in October 2002 with then New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Donahue used funds for “far outside the scope of purposes for which the funds were collected," as reported by The Associated Press.
“There are areas that need to be reviewed, as far as the money being spent,” Iachomini said. He moved to Buchanan from Verplanck in 2000. This is his fourth attempt to be elected village trustee. Iachomini said he hasn’t gotten a chance to look at last year’s budget yet, but said the village could “cover these areas and never cut services.” Iachomini is also a member of the village's zoning board of appeals.
Del Monte, a retired Metro-North Railroad worker, said he’s lived in the village for the last 35 years. He said he isn’t exactly sure of what being a village trustee entails, but said he wants to get his "feet wet” and, “I’d like to get an honest story about government.” He said he considers himself a “regular voter.”
Voting for Village of Buchanan elections will take place March 20 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.