Village elections are fast approaching on March 19 and Trumansburg currently only has one position to elect. After Village Mayor Rordan Hart was elected last year his former seat on the board was filled by Keith Hannon. Now, Hannon is running to stay and he has a long list of things he still wants to accomplish. Hannon, who was nominated by village democrats to run on the village line, is the only candidate currently declared for the seat. Write-in candidates will still be accepted.
Elections are nothing new to Hannon, who ran for a seat on the Tompkins County legislature in 2017. Now that he’s had a taste of public service on the Trumansburg Village Board of Trustees he said he feels he fits the position well but thinks he can do more with more time. When appointed to the position Hannon oversaw the village police department, represented the village on the Tompkins County Council of Governments, and the Trumansburg Chamber of Commerce.
“I knew, getting appointed, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be very ambitious and hardworking because when you don’t get voted in you feel like people didn’t really pick you,” Hannon said. “For me, it was really, prove myself in this year. I think I’ve done that.”
Much of the job, Hannon said, is learning the responsibilities, processes, and restrictions of local government. Now that he’s had a year to learn all of that, while also working to start and accomplish village projects, he feels even more prepared to govern effectively.
Building relationships with village residents and employees is a big part of the job that isn’t often talked about when running elections, but those relationships, at all levels of government, are what get things done.
“I think that takes a certain type of person, and personality, to kind of manage those relationships, and I think I’m off to a good start there,” Hannon said. If elected back to the board, Hannon has several things that he would like to accomplish. One of the ongoing projects in the village is the conversion of the street lights to LED lights, which would include bringing the maintenance and ownership of those lights away from NYSEG. Currently, the village pays several thousand dollars a year to NYSEG for the lights. While it may sound like a simple project, there is no such thing when it comes to government. The board has been working with the New York Power Authority on a Tompkins County Council of Governments (TCCOG) initiative to partner with other county municipalities to pay for the service for the lights.
Hannon and the board would like to bring more updated technology to the village. Launching soon, village residents will be able to pay some of their bills online.
“Which sounds obvious, but it wasn’t there,” Hannon said.
Ongoing infrastructure projects that he wants to get more work done on including building more sidewalks in the village, reopening and maintaining a popular footbridge, and finding a solution to the much-needed upgrades to the Fire and EMS service building. Hannon is hardly the first elected official to want to find a solution to the Fire and EMS facility issue.
“For many years now, this has been a conversation,” he said. “Everyone that works within that building or has been in the local government I think realizes that it’s inadequate. But whether you build a new one or do a renovation it’s a several million dollar project.”
Hannon reached out to State Senator Tom O’Mara’s office last year and coordinated a visit with the senator to the Fire and EMS building to talk about what the village needs to make it better. With help from state and local representatives, Hannon hopes that the village can at least start to find the funding for a new facility within the next five years. Because he was appointed for his first year, if elected on March 19 he will have to run again next year for a full four-year term. If he wins both races, this project will remain one of his goals, and he doesn’t mind leveraging his contacts to get it done.
He’s proud of the work that he and his fellow board members have put in to become a more transparent governing body, including recording certain public meetings and making the videos available on YouTube, setting up a dedicated Facebook page for people to engage with the board about local issues, and writing a regular column in the local paper, the Trumansburg Free Press, to communicate more regularly with residents. Implementing the village-wide Safe Spot program is also a proud moment for the appointed official.
As the election approaches, Hannon said he wants residents of Trumansburg to know that he will continue to work tirelessly to support a quality way of life for the village. He and his wife left their careers in California to find a community here in Trumansburg that would support their children.
“I’m very motivated to deliver on that both for myself and for all the families and people in Trumansburg.”
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