Two seek councilman-at-large position

GLOVERSVILLE – Two members of the Common Council are seeking the position of councilman-at-large in the coming election in November.

First Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth is a Democrat and will be matching up against incumbent Councilman-at-Large James Robinson, a Republican.

Wentworth will be on the ballot on the Democratic and independent Community Roots lines while Robinson will appear on the Republican line.

Wentworth has been on the council since 2008 and also is an active member of the Neighborhood Watch. She is chairwoman of the City Democratic Committee and third vice chairwoman of the Fulton County Democratic Committee as well as an active member of the New York state Federation of Democratic Women.

She is a graduate of Gloversville High School and also graduated from Fulton-Montgomery Community College with an associates degree in human services. Wentworth is currently employed as a Medical Social Worker Assistant at the Community Health Center.

Robinson, 58, also graduated from Gloversville High School. He works at SUNY Cobleskill as an electrician and previously worked at the Tryon Residential Facility in Perth. He was previously Councilman of Ward 3 before being elected to the post of Councilman-at-Large in 2010.

He also said he has been actively involved with the youth of the Gloversville Enlarged School District through various activities.

Wentworth, 54, of Orange Street, said she has learned over her term the importance of listening to constituents and is proud she hasn’t missed any regular meetings or work sessions of the Common Council.

“I make myself available and prepare for every meeting,” Wentworth said. “I believe as a resident of the city and elected official I have an obligation to be a public servant. That’s why I attend all of these meetings that aren’t required of me. I have a vested interest here in the city and community.”

Wentworth said she’s proud of presenting legislation that outlawed the sale and possession of salvia divinorum, a psychoactive herb that, if smoked or chewed, produces hallucinogenic effects.

“I think that was a big issue to many parents who weren’t even from my ward who were calling me very concerned [about] young people who were abusing it,” Wentworth said. “I’m happy to have been a part of that.”

Wentworth said she also is happy to have sponsored the staggered terms of council members, helping make the Gloversville Transit System an official department of the city, and helped with the compromise to bring Fage to the industrial park in Johnstown and later the construction of the Walmart Supercenter in the city.

Wentworth said going forward, she would look to change the way the monthly council audit is handled because it “only gives a list of numbers and the council isn’t informed on what was found or questioned.”

“We shouldn’t just be read a bunch of numbers,” Wentworth said. “I would like the finance committee to be more involved with that. They look at what is being paid after the fact so if there is a question it’s too late.”

Wentworth said she would also look for more cooperation within the city as well as other municipalities.

“I’d like to see some form of sharing where municipalities are still able to maintain their own identity,” she said.

Wentworth said she believes the concern municipalities have about losing their identity is the biggest roadblock to sharing services or consolidation.

However, she said taking advantage of sharing cost and revenue would allow all the associated municipalities the opportunity to further reduce the tax burden facing them.

Robinson said he supports consolidation and the sharing of services with surrounding municipalities.

“We need to work together with other municipalities to make it better for their community and our community at the same time,” Robinson said.

Robinson said he should be re-elected because he brings to leadership and a quality of working well with others to bring the community forward.

“I have years of experience,” he said. “I go in with an open mind and am not hastily passing resolutions that could cost our city money.”

When asked what he feels he has accomplished or was a part of during his time on the council, Robinson said he doesn’t hang his hat on one particular piece of legislation or government action.

Robinson said going forward, he also would look to foster more positive relationships in the city and with the surrounding municipalities.

“I’m still going to work with the town of Johnstown and surrounding areas to try to have a better relationship inside and outside of Gloversville.”

Robinson said he will seek to further reduce taxes in the city by reducing how much the city spends and working with the Commissioner of Finance.

The councilman-at-large position has a four-year term and is paid $3,125 per year.

The Board of Elections said in the event Wentworth wins the position of Councilman-at-Large, her vacant seat would be filled by someone appointed by the Common Council.