Hilltowns

A chili cook-off was held in Conkling Hall to raise funds for the historic building.

Candidates for town board and town clerk/tax collector have been endorsed by all four major parties.

RENSSELAERVILLE — This is the second consecutive unopposed election for Valerie Lounsbury. She wants to finish what she’s started, two years into the job.

RENSSELAERVILLE — After retiring from a career in the state’s Department of Transportation, Randall Bates sought an elective office in Rensselaerville to remain productive, in the thick of ice and snow coming down on the town’s long, rural roads.

RENSSELAERVILLE — Now in her first term as a town board member, Marion Cooke wants to continue for another four years.

“I’m running because I think the town is running on an even keel and I’d like to see it stay that way,” said Cooke, who is also deputy supervisor.

RENSSELAERVILLE — To be and remain a rural community requires pro-active work, according to Jeannette Rice. The Democratic candidate for town council sees a board role for supporting farms and small businesses.

RENSSELAERVILLE — Having spent all of his life in Preston Hollow, Gerald Wood, 67, is running for the town board for the first time.

Wood said contentious town board meetings in the past few years caused him concern.

The two most recently appointed councilmen are up for election, as well as Keith Wright, the town's highway superintendent, and Kenneth Mackey, a town judge.

BERNE — Clients and animals were like family for Bonnie Jean Schmidt. She took her work as a home health aid seriously, with strength and gentleness, like the elephant tattooed on her arm.

Bonnie Jean Schmidt died of cirrhosis of the liver on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. She was 57.

WESTERLO — Kenneth Mackey says he has learned a lot in his last four years on the bench.

“A lot of people don’t belong in jail,” he said. “I know now that some people really do.  You can tell the minute they walk in the courtroom.”

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