Hamilton Forum Hosts Village Office Candidates

Held at library Community Room June 16

(Hamilton, NY – June 16, 2011) On Thursday June 16 the Hamilton Forum will host the Village of Hamilton trustee candidates and the sole mayoral candidate at 7 p.m. at the Hamilton Public Library in the community room.

The public is invited to attend the forum which allows each candidate a brief introduction, followed by a question and answer session. The questions are unanimously submitted that evening by the audience. The event, moderated by Larry Baker, will allow each candidate an opportunity to answer the questions presented.

The candidates and some history on each are as follows.

Last April, before the local Democrats and Republicans held their nominating caucuses, Margaret Miller, Anne Clauss and Deborah Sill Kliman decided to run together on an independent Bullthistle line. Not registered in the same political party, they agreed to run together and once elected work together on the five-member Village Board.

Republican Margaret Miller, the sole candidate for mayor on the ballot, has nearly two decades of experience in Village government. Serving on the Planning Board since 1992, she was appointed in 2005 by newly elected mayor Sue McVaugh to complete her unexpired term as Village Trustee. Starting in 2006, Miller has been elected as a Republican nominee to three consecutive two-year terms as Village Trustee. She is a SOMAC volunteer and serves on the SOMAC board of directors.

Republican Anne Clauss and Democrat Debbie Kliman are the Bullthistle candidates for the two open Trustee positions.

Since Clauss moved with her husband and two children to Hamilton eight years ago, she has been active in community and school activities and in Village government. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton and MBA from Harvard, she worked prior to moving to Hamilton for Proctor & Gamble and a real estate company in Colorado. She is past treasurer of the Emerald Foundation. Currently she serves by mayoral appointment as president of the Library Board and as a member of the Airport and Airpark Commission and the Zoning Review Committee.

Kliman is a native of Hamilton and 1959 graduate of HCS. With a BA from Vassar and a doctorate from the University of Delaware, she worked as a clinical psychologist before retiring and moving five years ago with her husband to Hamilton into her family home. Volunteering in several community organizations, she is currently treasurer of the Mid-York Senior Homes, secretary of the Southern Madison Heritage Trust, vice-chair of the Life Long Learning Steering Committee, and secretary of the Town of Hamilton Democratic Committee. By mayoral appointment she is a member of the Historical Commission, Zoning Review Committee and Syracuse Symphony Committee. Two years ago she nearly won her first race for Village trustee.

Voters are presented with choices after the two party caucuses each nominated a candidate for Village Trustee.

Samuel “Sam” Cooper is the Republican nominee who is also on the ballot as the independently nominated Your Voice candidate. Owning a home on Eaton Street and a registered voter in the Village for 25 years, he retired after a career as social studies teacher and school administrator. His administrative positions included Secondary Principal of Morrisville-Eaton Central School and Assistant Superintendent of South Jefferson Central School near Watertown. A past president of two Rotary clubs, he is now active in Hamilton community affairs as a Rotarian and as member of the Hamilton Club’s Board of Governors.

The Democratic nominee is Meredith Leland Getchonis, a direct descendant of revolutionary war Colonel Joshua Leland and first permanent settler in this area. She attended HCS and has a BA and MAT from Colgate. After pursuing a Ph.D. in English at NYU and a career in realty including as executive assistant to the president of Sotheby’s International in New York City, she returned in 1998 with her two young daughters to Hamilton where she married Craig Getchonis, a fellow native and musician. She has been a substitute teacher at HCS and an English instructor at Morrisville State College. Active in the local arts and music scene, she is an organizer of the annual Skyway Music Festival. She received in 2000 a mayoral appointment to chair a new Arts and Entertainment Committee.

The Hamilton Forum, sponsored by the Hamilton Rotary Club, is an initiative designed to bring citizens from the community together for discussions of significant public interest. Forums are free and open to the public.




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