CORTLAND 2 lose seats on council
Only one incumbent was re-elected, while the mayor supported the challengers.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CORTLAND -- Two incumbent city council members were defeated by challengers promising a more civil approach to governance.
Michael Hillman and Brian Fischer ousted councilmen Gerald Bayus and Charles Brady in a six-way race for four seats.
Both say their election will help put an end to conflicts that have stood in the way of council's work.
"We will have a council that is respectful," said Hillman, who won 21 percent of the vote, more than any other candidate.
"That is different from what we have seen."
Mayor's support: The challengers were supported by Mayor Melissa Long, who was involved in a legal battle with council over the appointment of a law director earlier this year.
That issue has been resolved, but the infighting has continued.
"Everything just got out of control, and Cortland really got a black eye from it," said Fischer, who polled 18 percent of the vote.
"I'd like to have a more rational and analytical approach in looking a the issues."
The mayor also lent her support to Councilman John T. Caparanis, who retained his seat with 19 percent of the vote.
"There is still going to be discussion," said Caparanis. "We will have good discussion of all the issues without any of the animosity we have had in the past."
Only one of the councilmen whom Long opposed, Deidre Petrosky, was returned to office. She polled 16 percent of the vote.
"It's wonderful," Long said. "I know the city can go forward now, with no more encumbrance."