January 20, 2022
Arkport Democratic Caucus Nominates Amidon and Prete
By Jasmine Willis
ARKPORT NY, — The Arkport Democratic Caucus was held on Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Village Community Room.
It was a unanimous vote to nominate Democratic Candidate Patricia Amidon for the village trustee position and Democratic Candidate George Prete for the mayor position. The upcoming Arkport Village Election is March 15.
James and Terry Pullman both nominated the candidates for the positions in the upcoming election.
Amidon said she was the first female democratic candidate to serve on the village board in the late 90s for seven years.
“I won since there was a tie in the election. There was nothing in the record books to decide what to do about a revote. This had never happened before. It all came down to a coin toss, and I won by calling out tails,” she said. “I ran again about four years ago and was trustee again for two years. All together I served nine years on the village board.”
Amidon is also the president of the Arkport Public Library. It was known for years as the Arkport Village Book Center and run by the village board. Since last year it has gotten under the umbrella of the Southern Tier Library System. It is now open 25 hours a week and has a $35,700 budget. Terry Pullman is also part of the Arkport Public Library. Pullman said she thinks highly of what Amidon has accomplished in both the library and the village.
“Terry and I along with our entire board just became a charter library under the Southern Tier Library System,” she said. “We are our own entity now. We are the Arkport Public Library. We are now eligible for grants. We just received a $50,000 construction grant. A resolution has been made and we are in the process of buying the building we are currently in from the village.”
Pullman said when it was a reading center it was owned by the village with a budget of $13,000 and only open 15 hours a week.
“The state told us we could no longer do that. We had to evolve into a charter library or no longer be part of the library system. We were not going to be allowed to get books from anywhere else, and had to survive on our own,” she said. “We had to go up for a vote during the school budget system during the pandemic. It was overwhelmingly supported by everyone involved.”
Pullman said the grant will also be used for lights, handi-cap access, bathrooms, and heating in the building.
Amidon said the main thing she wants to focus on in the upcoming term is to listen to what the community has to say. She wants to see more people get involved in the village meetings and have a voice in the community.
“I was born and raised in this village. I am living in the house I grew up in. This has always been my hometown. I care about what everyone in this community has to say. I want to really listen to people. We all sit on the village board and want to hear what the community has to say. People need to come to the meetings and get involved in what happens here,” she said. “I am proud of what we have done here. We had two big water projects in this village. We all came together for Dollar General and look what happened with that. That is what happens when the entire community gets involved.”
Prete was not available for comment at the meeting