The Waverly Board of Trustees will elect a new member today, following the departure of Steve Burlingame. Former Trustee Thomas Bellinger and retired Waverly Police Officer Kyle Burns will appear on the ballot. Keith Correll and John Kevin Sweeney are write-in candidates. The Morning Times spoke to Mr. Bellinger and Mr. Burns about their plans if elected.

Thomas Bellinger:

Please share some background information about yourself.

I have lived in the Village of Waverly for 29 years along with my wife. We have raised five children that call Waverly home. I along with my son, own and operate three businesses in the Village of Waverly.

Previously, I have served on the Village Board, plus other boards either in the Village or the Valley area (Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, Valley Youth Soccer Association, Past President of Waverly Business Association, Stateline Travel Soccer, and Friends of the Waverly Cemetery), and currently serve on the board of directors of Greater Valley EMS.

What are your reasons for seeking office?

I believe I am well equipped to lead the Village of Waverly to continue success and growth.

What do you consider your priorities if elected?

One of my main priorities is our infrastructure and completion of projects that have been started. I want to make sure these projects stay within budget.

What best qualifies you for the position of Trustee?

My past experience as a Village Trustee and small business owner.

Is there anything you would like to say to voters prior to election day?

If elected I promise to do my best at making our community affordable, safe and proud for the good of all.

Kyle Burns:

Please share some background about yourself.

I have lived in the Village of Waverly 30 years and have raised two children with my wife. I have worked as a Police Officer for Village of Waverly for over 20 years, retiring as a Lieutenant in 2012. I have served as a Waverly/Barton Fire Commissioner on two different occasions. I have also served as an Advisory Board Member for the Sayre Corp of the Salvation Army. I was a treasurer for the Waverly Police Association and also for a local church for many years. In January 2017 , my business partner and I purchased a business in the Village of Waverly. I am currently President of The Valley Chorus.

What are your reasons for seeking office?

I have always had an interest in the improvement of the quality of life in Waverly.

Serving as Police Officer in Waverly and now co-owning a business in Waverly I have dedicated my entire adult life in trying to improve the quality of life in Waverly.

I believe I can offer, through my life experiences, a unique perspective on issues and would use them to help keep Waverly a safe place to live along with building a vibrant economy.

What do you consider your priorities if elected?

The Village needs a short and long-term plan for infrastructure repair and replacement of streets, sewer and water lines, and storm water drainage, some of which has been started. I would promote creating and implementing a 1, 5, and 10-year plan. Efforts would need to be made to find alternate funding so as to not affect the local budget.

Regarding the budget, the Village is a small municipality with limited resources, therefore we need to assure the community that their money is being spent wisely. This means overseeing expenditures of the Village Departments without interfering with the operations of the Departments.

What best qualifies you for the position of Trustee?

My experience with the Village as an employee, taxpayer and business owner. I have also worked with taxpayer based budgets.

Is there anything you would like to say to voters prior to election day?

I think change at any level of government is good, thus bringing new ideas and perspectives to issues.

I believe the role of a Trustee is to oversee the completion, passing and implementation of a yearly budget and to ensure that the budget is followed. A Village Trustee is there to assist Village Department Heads when necessary, and to be the conduit between the residents and Village.

If elected, I would work diligently to fulfill the responsibilities as Village Trustee to the best of my abilities.

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