DANSVILLE — For the first time in eight years, the Village of Dansville will have a contested race for mayor.
Incumbent Mayor Peter Vogt, a Republican, is running against Keith Petti, of the Democratic Party, in the upcoming election on March 19.
Vogt’s main vision for the village if reelected is to focus on growing the economy, maintaining the infrastructure of the village, and continuing to make Dansville a great place to live, work, and play.
Petti’s main vision for the village if elected is to focus on an open door policy and open meetings; return to fiscal responsibilities such as water, sewer, and tax rates; improve street maintenance with more brush collection and snow removal; and bring the village up to speed on technology.
Vogt, a Vietnam veteran, saw a strong need for leadership in the community when he first took office eight years ago.
“I would like to see a greater economic growth in downtown,” he said. “Towards that end we are spearheading a number of efforts to create a more attractive atmosphere.”
Vogt has worked with the county and village on bringing a Historic Walking Tour and Inspirational Trail to the area.
Petti, a Vietnam veteran, has 40 years of experience in local government doing various positions such as Water and Waste Water Treatment Plant operator, Former Village Administrator, and Former Superintendent of Public Works.
“There are a lot of things I want to see done differently,” Petti said. “The village board works for the people, and they need to be willing to listen to what the community has to say.”
Another thing that concerns Petti is the amount of money spent on village equipment, and that the water and sewer bills have doubled, he said.
Vogt, meanwhile, mentioned some of his accomplishments within the two terms he has completed.
“We are continuing to work on the streets and plumbing in the village. We have a lot getting repaired and replaced,” he said. “We are working on making the parking lots safe and attractive. We want to enhance the gateway to the village. We have several signs we are working on getting up. We were given a grant to enhance the music entertainment in the village.
“Since I took office one of my biggest accomplishments was the Waste Water Treatment Plant. The original plan was set for $19 million and would’ve run for $32 million. The plan we had only cost $13 million. We have a no interest loan, and the grants brought the price way down,” Vogt continued. “We added a GIS (Geographic Information Services) to allow us to pinpoint valves and infrastructure. The system allows us to locate the valves within a few inches. We had to straighten out the record keeping. We have an annual audit done. We rebuilt two streets and worked on state highways within the village.”
Petti said there is not a lot in the village that is bringing in revenue, so a lot of the weight falls on the taxpayers.
Petti recalls working for seven mayors in his time at local government, and he believes that everyone holding a public office position should be compassionate.
“I want to be a friendly face out there, and bring in a compassionate government,” he said. “When you are mayor you want to serve the community. I plan on having more town hall meetings with the public. I want to sit down with them, and have conversations with them about their concerns. You need to listen to what people have to say, and want to make things better for them. You need to respect people.”
Petti has worked on computer programs for three decades, and he has a strong passion for building software. He plans on taking this knowledge to bring more forward thinking to village government. This would make it easier for the community to access anything they want that is public domain, he said.
Petti added that the small governments need to work even harder than the city governments with a lot less employees.
“We are the government that is closest to the people,” he said. “I feel like I am at a place now where I can run for mayor. People have asked me for eight years to run.”
Petti wants to work with the surrounding communities as well to achieve a stronger community.
In other ideas, the Castle on the Hill and the King’s Daughter’s House is important to the story of the community. Petti would like to work with the owners in bringing in economic development to maintain the integrity of these buildings.
Petti mentioned other ideas such as a water park on East Hill, a balloon festival museum, and a performing arts building to highlight what makes Dansville a place to visit.
Petti strongly admired former Mayor Mike Kane, former Mayor Barry Haywood, and former Mayor Bill Dixon.
The Democratic Candidates will meet with the public at the N. Dansville Town Hall on Wednesday, March 13 at 7 pm., and the Battle Street Brewery on Friday, March 15 at 5 p.m.
The Republican Candidates will meet at the Battle Street Brewery on Thursday, March 14 at 5 p.m.
Others in the Democratic Party running for office: Rick Schwenzer, village trustee, Bevin Lynn, village justice, Ron Hall, village trustee.
Others in the Republican Party running for office: Josh Weidman, village justice, Dan Rittenhouse, village trustee, and Floyd Sick, village trustee.