I feel grateful and humbled to have been re-elected to a third term as Village Trustee by the people of Monticello. This result is an affirmation by the people of their favorable judgment not just of my work on their behalf as a board member, but of the progress Monticello has made since I took office.
Unofficial numbers released by the Sullivan County Board of Elections indicate the top two vote-getters are a mere dozen votes apart as of now, with Trustee Larissa Bennet significantly behind. The precise numbers have not yet been certified and may change by a few here or there.
Mayor Doug Solomon and Trustee Aleta Gomez (two-year term) secured for themselves the endorsement of what should normally be the opposing party, resulting in low-key, low-energy campaigns by them. Former mayors Gordon Jenkins and Gary Sommers – who were not even running – received a surprising number of write-in votes.
I offer congratulations to all who won, including new Trustee George Nikolados, and pledge to continue to work to the best of my ability for the good of Monticello. For as long as I have been on the board, when constituents have reached out to me for help, I have always returned their calls. I have been told time and again by Monticello residents that I make myself more accessible than most, and I will continue. As I have for eight years, I work hard for all the residents of Monticello – not just the wealthy and privileged – with fairness for everyone.
I extend my hand to my colleagues on the Board of Trustees, inviting them to join me in keeping our eye on the ball, working together in a positive and professional manner for the good of those who have entrusted us with the responsibilities of local government. As the senior member of the board (by several years), I am more aware than most what it takes to serve the public. I call on the mayor and all the trustees, as well as appointed officials and department heads at Village Hall, to work together in unison. We are there to serve the public, not merely our friends or special interests.
The people of Monticello look forward to continued growth as we move forward toward economic development, doubtless driven and sustained in part by the construction of the Montreign Resort and Casino just outside our boundaries. The hope and expectation of the entire Board of Trustees is that this project will create jobs for Village residents at the same time as it boosts the entire area.
By continuing to work together as a community, our area will prosper. Letting go of negativity of those who would oppose us, no amount of lies or orchestrated “social media” attacks can stop our growth. The final election results indicate that I did well in the minority communities, as well as with the traditional voters of Monticello old and young. The reason is simple – we are all one community, and when we do the right thing the majority of voters know and support it.
During the recent campaign, my focus remained with the voters of Monticello. I worked hard at every opportunity to communicate with the people who vote here. I personally collected 165 signatures on Democratic designating petitions, securing that ballot line not also for myself but also my running mates. It became clear when the Democratic petition was filed that without those signatures that I collected, the Democratic line could easily have been challenged and thrown off the ballot, leaving only the Republicans – an insult to the people of Monticello and the concept of democracy. I sought and obtained endorsements not only for myself, but also for my Democratic running mates, by the Conservative and Independence parties, as well as Laborer's Local 17. These endorsements, and the support of countless community members who worked on my campaign, made the difference.
In closing, the people of Monticello owe a gracious "thank you" to outgoing Trustee Larissa Bennett for her four years of service, as I also offer thanks once again to the voters for their continued confidence. If Larissa had been more open to campaigning with me door-to-door, while absentees were being collected, I know the entire team would have secured the continued approval of the voters. However, her good work for the community deserves to be acknowledged, and in two years there will be another opportunity. It is now up to the board to work together as a team.
Thank you, also, to my husband, Tom Rue, and children, Janesa, Eddie, and Carolina, and the entire family for all their patience and support during a long and time-consuming campaign.
Village Trustee, 2008 to 2020