VALATIE–Three candidates–Lisa Hill, Frank Bevens and Philip Bickerton–are running for two seats on the Village Board. Mr. Bickerton, on the Residents Party line, is running for reelection, while Mr. Bevens, also on the Residents line, and Ms. Hill, on the Valatie Experience line, are running for the seat left open by Nancy Bryant.
Trustee Bryant died Saturday, February 23 after serving nine years on the board. Her seat will be left unfilled until the elections on March 19 and her name will not be on the ballot since she had decided not to run again in early February.
Philip Bickerton has served on the board since 2009. He is a firefighter with the Valatie Fire Department and a member of the Valatie Santa Claus Club. An Ichabod Crane graduate, Mr. Bickerton is a self-employed carpenter.
According to a flyer from the candidates, Mr. Bickerton has worked on the board with the Sidewalk Link Committee, linking the villages of Kinderhook and Valatie with a sidewalk on Route 9. He has helped with the negotiations on the intermunicipal agreement adding Kinderhook users to the Valatie sewer system. As trustee he has worked with the Neighborhood Watch programs and worked with the Valatie Community Theater on projects. Mr. Bickerton could not be reached before deadline.
Frank Bevens, the president and first assistant chief of the Valatie Fire Company, is seeking the open trustee seat on the Resident Party ballot line with Mr. Bickerton. Mr. Bevens has worked for the county Highway Department for 23 years. He has been a member of the Valatie Fire Department for 30 years and a member of the Santa Claus Club for five years.
“I’m looking to continue my involvement in the village,” Mr. Bevens said in an interview.
The Resident Party flier states, “Frank will insist on open government and low taxes. He will serve all residents equally and government will be accessible under his tenure.” He also points out that his many years on the fire company have prepared him to be on the Village Board. Mr. Bevens attends most board meetings to give the fire department report.
Lisa Hill, an Oak Drive resident, is running with Mayor Gary Strevell on the Valatie Experience line for trustee. Ms. Hill has lived in Valatie for 13 years. For over 19 years, she has worked in the publishing industry as a cost estimator for book manufacturing. She has served as treasurer of VERA (Valatie Economic Redevelopment Association) and secretary of the Valatie Planning Board.
In announcing her intention to run Ms. Hill said in a press release, “Valatie has come so far in the 13 years I’ve lived here. I want to continue this progress by focusing on continuing to improve the infrastructure and by encouraging and supporting businesses in Valatie. I have extensive background in corporate finance and budgeting and I’m looking forward to using this expertise in helping to evaluate Valatie’s budget to ultimately keep taxes low.”
Ms. Hill also said if elected, she hopes to work with the current village clerk to find new ways to continue to electronic upgrades and streamline village office functions. She said she hopes to use the village website to bring even more transparency to the everyday workings of the village.
The village elections will be held Tuesday, March 19 from noon to 9 p.m. at the village hall on Spring and Main streets.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email firstname.lastname@example.org.