Mayor Kevin Millar has headed up the Village of Owego for the past two years. Before being elected to the top position, the retired nurse anesthetist had been active in village politics. Millar says his primary mission over his first term has been flood recovery from 2011, including doing work that will hopefully eventually help people to decrease their flood insurance premiums by up to 45%.
Kevin Millar says, "The community rating system is one project that I think is very important. Almost paramount important is people who want a buyout to get bought out and people who want to elevate get elevated. There's a lot of frustration about that and I share that frustration, believe me. It's a bureaucratic process that is painfully slow."
Other flood recovery work has included getting village owned buildings and sites back up and running, including the police station. Millar also says the Village is asking a fiscal restructuring board in Albany to look over the Village's finances to see where it can become more efficient.
And, he says work has been done to update the comprehensive plan. Millar says he received a mass mailing postcard Thursday that accuses him of wanting to do away with Owego's ambulance service. He says that's a lie.
Millar says, "Whoever sent this knows that it's untrue, because we've discussed emergency management often over the past year or two. In fact, we just hired a new EMS worker and we told her that we plan to continue the service long. The one thing that we would like to see is the emergency management service look into how to bill for services, which many other area EMS squads have done, which help offset the cost of running the service."
Millar says EMS costs about 300-thousand dollars a year to provide. Half of that is paid for through a special fund that was donated to Owego. The other $150,000 is covered through the village's general fund. The postcard claims to not have political affiliation. Millar's opponent Lisa Curatalo says her Positive Change party had not knowledge of the post card. She said it was upsetting to see the negative tone of it, because she says she has run a positive, issue oriented campaign. Curatalo does say that the information on the mailing is accurate.
In Owego, Peter Quinn, NewsChannel 34.
The election in Owego is Tuesday. Polls are open from Noon until 9:00 pm.
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