Forestville, Mayville back moving elections to November

Two more local villages in Chautauqua County have voted to move local elections to coincide with the general elections in November. Residents in Forestville and Mayville passed propositions during Tuesday’s village elections.

In the village of Forestville, voters approved moving the elections by a vote of 58 to 27. It was the second time residents voted on the proposition. In November, residents rejected moving elections by a vote of 137 to 64.

Mayor-elect Kevin Johnson said he was in support of moving the elections ever since the resolution to put it up as a referendum was proposed. One benefit, he said, is it will give more time to plan the village budget, beause the fiscal year ends May 31.

“I think it makes it much better for organizing the budget. It gives us more time to do that. As before, we would only have a few weeks to get the budget ready. Now we have months instead of weeks to get it done. It will make things much easier for us,” he said.

Johnson said the village does not spend a lot of money on March elections but “every penny counts.” In March the village must pay the county Board of Elections to oversee elections. The Board of Elections will not charge the village in November elections. The move will take effect in 2016. By moving the elections, the village’s administration that was elected Tuesday will be in office an extra six months.

Normally, the village has around 50 people for March elections but this year the village had more than 80 voters. Johnson believes it was due to the referendum.

“That was a pretty good number for us. I think it was mostly to vote on that referendum,” he said.

Voters in the village of Mayville voted 135 to 25 to move the elections from March to November. The change will be effective in the next village election year – 2016. Mayor Martin Bova Jr., who was re-elected mayor, said with the high numbers of voters saying “yes” to the proposition, the community has rallied behind the move.

“It showed real strong support from the community so that’s a real good indication that people were behind the idea (of moving the elections),” he said.

Reasons for putting the proposition on the ballot included low voter turnout for March elections and extra costs incurred by the village.

“It makes more sense (moving the election) for voter turnout because our village elections have always had low turnouts. This is going to get more people because they’re going to be out for the general elections in November.

“It also becomes being a bit of a savings for us because we don’t have to have this special March election for the village anymore. There’s no need to have the election inspectors twice, the extra ballots that need to be printed. It’s a smart move all the way around,” Bova concluded.

Forestville and Mayville now join the villages of Fredonia, Silver Creek, Celoron, Falconer and Lakewood who have previously moved village elections to November.

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