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Democrats select Hayes for Parishville town supervisor run; Sweeney seeks town council post

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PARISHVILLE - The town of Parishville will have contested races in both their town supervisor and town council elections this fall.

Democrats in the municipality held a nominating caucus Tuesday evening to select their candidates for the two posts.

Cassie Hayes will by challenging incumbent Rodney G. Votra, a Republican, for the supervisor’s post. The seat is for the three-year unexpired term.

Mr. Votra shifted from a town council seat to supervisor after the resignation of Jerry G, Moore earlier this year.

“I teach eighth grade social studies at Massena Central School, and I’ve been teaching there for about 21 years. I am retired from the Army Reserves with a rank of major and was commissioned through Clarkson ROTC. I was in the Army for also 21 years,” Ms. Hayes said.

The teacher moved to Parishville with her family four years ago and had previously lived in Dickinson, where she served as the Democratic Party Committee chairperson for 10 years.

“We moved to the town of Parishville because we wanted a better school district for our kids. (This) is a great school district and a great community. The town rec program is another reason why we came to this community,” Ms. Hayes said. “In Dickinson, I was also the tax collector and the chairman of the Recreation Committee. So I’ve (been in) some of these offices and done a lot of things.”

The mother of two said that she strongly supports the town’s beach program among other things.

She noted that the town supervisor position has been filled by a Republican for quite some time.

“It’s been years since there’s been a choice. I want to give people a choice, and there hasn’t been a choice in this community because the Democrats haven’t been organized,” Ms. Hayes said. “I’d like to see the town board meetings moved to a night meeting, not day.”

Longtime Parishville resident Melvin Sweeney will be running against either Brian T. Gary or Donald E. Tebo Jr. in the election for town councilman, a seat that carries a one-year unexpired term.

Mr. Gary and Mr. Tebo will be squaring off in a Republican primary on Sept. 9.

“I’ve been here for pretty much all of my life - all but eight or 10 years, and I was born here,” Mr. Sweeney said. “I’m the chairman of the fire commissioners, and I’ve dealt with the town and worked in the town for the highway department. I feel I might have a little bit of knowledge and may help.”

Mr. Sweeney said that he has only one guarantee if he is elected.

“As far as any promises - my only promise is to do the best I can do for the community and that’s it,” Mr. Sweeney said.

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