By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
GREENVILLE —Town Councilman John Bensen will be Greenville’s new town supervisor beginning Jan. 1.
Bensen takes over the town’s top spot from longtime town supervisor Paul Macko, who is moving into the position of town councilman.
Bensen ran unopposed for the supervisor’s seat and received 97.9% of the vote in the Nov. 7 election. Macko ran for one of the two open seats on the town board and was easily elected. He is joined by incumbent Town Councilman William VonAtzingen, who was re-elected. Both were unopposed on the ballot.
Also winning re-election in uncontested races were incumbents Town Clerk Jessica Lewis and Highway Superintendent Michael Dudley.
All candidates in this year’s election are Republicans.
Macko has been supervisor for the past 14 years, but due to personal obligations he felt it was time to take a step back and let Bensen take over the supervisor’s post. Serving as town councilman will also enable Macko to stay involved in town governance and see some of the ongoing projects he started come to fruition.
“I am a primary caregiver for my 94-year-old mom and it has been occupying more and more of my time,” Macko said prior to the election. “This is a way for me to still be involved and make sure some of the projects and undertakings that we are working on get completed.”
Bensen said the town is going in the right direction and he doesn’t anticipate making any major changes in the near future.
“We have so much going on right now that I would probably want to continue with what we’ve got,” Bensen said.
He is also planning on naming Macko deputy town supervisor at the town council’s organizational meeting in January.
There were several contested races in the town of Cairo. All election results were unofficial at press time and some absentee ballots remained to be counted, but the Greene County Board of Elections released preliminary unofficial results.
Republican Town Supervisor Jason Watts saw a challenge from Democratic candidate Timothy Hilgendorff. At press time Watts had received 717 votes, or 44.23%, with Hilgendorff receiving 649 votes, or 40.04%.
Three candidates were on the ballot for the two open seats on the town council. Republicans Debra Bogins and Timothy Murphy are the projected winners with 979 and 1,032 votes, respectively. Democrat Anna Schmidt received 598 votes.
Incumbent Town Clerk Kayla McAlister, a Republican, received 1,120 votes, and Republican Arthur Evans III was re-elected highway superintendent with 1,227 votes. Republican Tanja Sirago was re-elected town justice. Incumbent Tax Collector Susan Hilgendorff was re-elected to another term as well. All four were unopposed incumbents.
There were no contested races in the town of Durham.
Town Supervisor Shawn Marriott was re-elected to another term with 308 votes, and incumbent town council members Joan Breslin and Scott Hulbert were re-elected with 300 and 294 votes, respectively. All three are Republicans and incumbents.
Town Justice Raymond Kennedy, also a Republican, was re-elected with 313 votes.