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Incumbent Canton mayor faces challenger

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CANTON - Village residents will decide next week whether Mayor David P. Curry keeps his seat or loses the mayor’s job to Trustee Mary Ann Ashley.

Both candidates are urging residents to cast their vote Nov. 5 to determine who serves as mayor for the next two years.

Ms. Ashley, a registered Republican, is running on the Democrat line because Mr. Curry, also a Republican, won the GOP endorsement at the Sept. 11 caucus. The following evening Canton Democrats endorsed Ms. Ashley.

If Ms. Ashley becomes mayor, she has the authority to appoint her trustee replacement, who would serve one year on the five-member board.

Mr. Curry, 20 Lincoln St., said he feels village government has been running smoothly during his first term as mayor, and he’d like to continuing serving. A life-long Canton resident, his background includes serving 19 years as a village trustee.

Ms. Ashley believes she has the leadership and visionary qualities that make her the best choice for village mayor. A native of Ogdensburg, she has resided in Canton for the past 30 years.

Mr. Curry said he has been responsive to community residents who telephone him with their concerns about issues that range from downed trees to street potholes. As a long-time Main Street business owner, he said he’s accessible to the public and handles issues in a timely manner. He owns and operates Dave’s II, a bar at 37 Main St.

“People know if they call me I’ll follow through and take care of it,” Mr. Curry said.”I have a good relationship with department heads and employees.”

Under his leadership as mayor,he said the property tax rate has not increased and water and sewer rates have remained fairly stable.

Although the community has outstanding bonds for some capital projects, such as the fire station, the sewer lagoon system, and pavilion upgrades, the village is not carrying an excessive amount of debt, the mayor said.

“We are well under borrowing limits set by the state,” Mr. Curry said. “The projects we bonded for were necessary projects that had to be done for the community. We have been fiscally conservative.”

Ms. Ashley, 1 East Drive, has said focusing on the people is more important than party politics, and she’s dedicated to improving the community. She has served two years as a village trustee and works as a counselor for St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

During this campaign season, Ms. Ashley said residents have expressed concern about village taxes and attracting more businesses to Canton.

If elected mayor, Ms. Ashley said she will continue to concentrate on the infrastructure of finances, zero based budgeting, no tax increase and debt reduction. Other priorities include economic and community development, employee working conditions, employee contractual negotiations and continued excellence in municipal services.

If elected, she said she has not decided who she will appoint to replace her on the village board, but the choice will be made in collaboration with village trustees.

Looking to the future, Ms. Ashley said the village needs to implement both the Canton Community Action and the Canton Waterfront Revitalization plans.

“We need to continue to upgrade our roads, sidewalks and water/sewer systems,” she said. “We need to market Canton to bring more businesse,s which will have a positive impact on our tax base.”

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