McCoy won't seek third term; mayoral candidates step forward
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Thu., Jul. 28, 2011
In a press conference late in the afternoon on July 22, Vernon Mayor Jason McCoy announced that he will not seek re-election this November, but instead will explore the possibility of running for U.S. Senate in 2012.
“I want to thank the citizens of the town of Vernon for allowing me to serve as mayor,” McCoy said, adding that he intends to “spend more time with my family, to focus on my career as a lawyer, and to explore a run for the United States Senate. It's now that I move to the next level. I've done all I can do in Vernon.”
McCoy, a Republican, touted his handling of the town budget, and called for more fiscal conservancy on the national level.
“Over the last four years, we've reduced taxes and reduced the cost of government,” he said. “We've changed the economic environment to promote jobs and job opportunities, along with economic growth, while expanding our tax base. Part of this success has been electing fiscal conservatives to the town council, as well as the Board of Education.”
McCoy's choice to not seek his third term leaves the door wide open.
Before McCoy's announcement, Town Council member Pauline Schaefer announced her intention to seek the mayor's seat and received the Democratic endorsement.
Schaefer has lived in Vernon for more than 60 years, and has four children and seven grandchildren in town.
“I have always envisioned Vernon to be a place where my family and your family can afford to live and continue to have a good quality of life,” Schaefer said, via a press release.
Schaefer began her volunteer service to the community in 1975, as a member, and later president of the Northeast School PTO. She was appointed to the Board of Education in 1983, and was elected for three additional terms. She has served on the town council since 1997.
Schaefer said her experience and commitment to the citizens of Vernon have made her the right person to lead the town as its mayor.
“In these tough economic times, our citizens deserve the best from Vernon's government,” she said. “Our students deserve a quality education, our senior citizens deserve respect, all residents of Vernon deserve an open government and a mayor who will return your calls and listen to your concerns.”
The Republicans endorsed Board of Education member George Apel. Apel is also a life-long resident of Vernon, and a retired Pratt & Whitney engineering manager.
Apel worked with the Vernon Chapter of Habitat for Humanity before serving on the town council in the mid-90s. In 2005, he was appointed to the School Building Advisory Commission - the group charged with overseeing the renovation of the town's schools.
Apel has been on the Board of Education for the past four years, serving as the chair of its finance and negotiating sub-committee for the past four years, where he said he has gained “unique insight into the town's finances.”
“I think that the mayor needs to be a strong leader,” Apel said. “He needs to work with the Town Council and the town staff to provide high quality services. It is what citizens have every right to expect and deserve.”
Apel said he plans to develop long- and short-term goals and plans for each town department and continue to update and discuss them with the town council, as well as continue to welcome bipartisan discussion.
Voters may see a four-way race, as Republican Gordon Paterson has announced his intention to run as a petitioning candidate, and unaffiliated town councilman James Krupienski has also said he will run, and as of press time, was awaiting certification from the Secretary of State's office before making a formal announcement.