2013 Thurman Bicentennial Calendar
Education: Some college for business management and hotel/restaurant management
Professions: 25 years of restaurant management
Experience: Business experience in running multi-million-dollar restaurants
Family: Husband, David; four sons, Jack, Madison, James, Jayden
Education: Masters in theater from City University of New York
Professions: Thurman Town Justice; current assistant librarian at Johnsburg Library; teaches workshops, directs and acts for local theater companies; former theater professor at SUNY Adirondack; office manager for several large companies in NYC; licensed tour guide for NYC
Experience: Current Thurman Town Justice
Three candidates are hoping to take a vacant seat on the Thurman Town Board.
The seat is currently held by Bob Hitchcock, who took over the position for his wife, Rebecca, who died last May.
The election is for a one-year term on the board and will be subject to another election in 2013.
Lisa-Marie Binder, Gail Seaman and Filomena Riviello, who is serving as Thurman Town Justice through Dec. 31, are competing for the seat.
Sheila Flanagan is the write-in candidate for town justice to succeed Riviello.
Binder and Riviello both said they would bring something new to the town board if elected.
Seaman and Flanagan could not be reached for this story.
Binder said her inspiration to run came from a recent conversation with her father-in-law.
“I was talking to my father-in-law one day and I made a comment about the town, and he said, ‘Why don’t you just do it? Put your money where your mouth is,’” binder said. “I’m hoping I can put myself out there and make a change for the community.”
After running several million-dollar restaurants, Binder thinks she has the skills to serve as a town board member.
“I think the most staff members I’ve had at one time was 150-200,” Binder said. “I always tried to think outside the box and try to figure out what’s best for everyone involved. Honesty, courtesy and respect are three core ideologies I use in making decisions.”
According to Binder, change needs to start within the community, something she hopes to enact.
“I want to get out there and be part of the new generation, and be involved to get people more people involved in the community,” Binder said. “You have to get involved in order to make an impact.”
Riviello, a write-in candidate for this election, said that being an independent candidate is one of the greatest assets to her campaign.
“I think it’s important to have an independent voice and someone who’s not from here,” Riviello said. “The politics here usually involve families that have been here for generations, and I don’t have any of those connections. I think that’s one of the reasons I was elected as town justice—people like having somebody completely independent.”
Riviello said “a fair budget that allows for the needed services of the town” is the biggest issue facing Thurman right now.
“Right now, the way the budget looks, there are things that are absolutely unnecessary, and those are being held up as more important than the services to the town,” Riviello said.
She credits her current position as town justice with being instrumental in helping her see what needs to be done in Thurman.
“I think my four years as town justice has made me very aware of some of the problems and possibilities of this town. Plus, I live here and I love the community and I love my neighbors, and I think that as long as I’m here I’m going to try to contribute something.”