By Jann Wiswall

If you’ve been on the fence about running for local office, now is the time to make your decision.

According to New York State election law, “persons wishing to run for elective office must be nominated either by a political party [by petition] or through the filing of an independent nominating petition. …The current political parties are the Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Working Families, Independence and Green parties. Any person who is not nominated by one of these parties must file an independent nominating petition.”

Candidates registered with political parties may begin circulating petitions on June 2; notarized documents must be submitted to the state from June 6-9.  These candidates will be placed on their parties’ primary ballots.

Independent candidates may begin circulating “Opportunity to Ballot” petitions on June 23. Submissions are due July 16.

Forms, regulations, requirements and key dates for filing additional documentation before the elections (including financial disclosure forms) are available online at or at the County Board of Elections office in Little Valley.

Primary elections are scheduled for September 10; the general election will take place on November 3.

Open seats in area municipalities are listed below. Most of the incumbents in these positions (listed in parentheses) have indicated unofficially that they intend to run for new terms, but no candidacies are official until petitions have been submitted and authorized.

Town of East Otto

Open Positions: Two board seats (William Spors, David Forster)

Village of Ellicottville

Open Positions: Mayor (Charles Coolidge), two board seats (Robert Brogcinski, Patra Lowes)

Town of Ellicottville

Open Positions: Town Supervisor (John Burrell), two board seats (Greg Fitzpatrick, Kenneth Hinman), Town Justice (vacant)

Town of Great Valley

Open Positions: Town Supervisor (Daniel Brown), two 4-yr. board seats (Lori Finch, Gerald Musall), one 2-yr. board seat (to complete Ted LaCroix’s term), two town justice seats (Peter Stokes, Scott John), Town Clerk (Toni Evans), Town Highway Superintendent (Jack Harrington)

Town of Mansfield

Open Positions: Town Supervisor (Bob Keis), two board seats (Nancy Meeder, Robert Schmidt), Town Clerk (Betty Jane Horning), Town Justice (Dale Baldwin – currently appointed), Town Highway Superintendent (Brad Hurley)

For more information, contact the Cattaraugus County Board of Elections at (716) 938-9111 or stop by its offices at 207 Rock City Street, Suite 100, Little Valley, NY 14755.