A first for the Cortlandville Town Board..
Her name is Kristin Rocco-Petrella.
“I am – which is amazing – the first female councilperson on the board in 188 years,” said Rocco-Petrella. “This is fantastic and I’m looking forward to it.”
“We started in 1829,” said Town Supervisor Dick Tupper. “That’s 188 years ago, and never had a female, which is probably not unusual for a rural town like this.”
Tupper says the board appointed Kristin Rocco-Petrella to fulfill the term of Dr. Walt Kasperek, who resigned.
“That’s the future,” said Tupper. “The younger people. She’s gonna end up being here long enough to see the fruits of the (Gutchess) park and stuff like that, where some of us probably won’t be.”
Rocco-Petrella is grateful for the opportunity. “Thank you to Dr. Kasparek for also being a public servant. It’s not easy. I don’t really think of myself as a political person, but I certainly am a people person and I know this community well.”
Rocco-Petrella’s term will expire 12/31/2017, so she’ll need to run for a full term this fall to keep the job. Yes, she’s the daughter of the longtime councilmember.
“I’ve been a part of this town and the community for my entire life,” said Rocco-Petrella. “I started working for the town when I was 17, mowing lawns, then went off to college. I came back and started in the Town Clerk’s office, where I worked from 2001 until 2016.”
Tupper remembers, “She spent four summers here cutting grass, so she knows the people and she knows the process. She also was a clerk for the Village of Homer. So she understands the financing. So we’re very fortunate. She’s very well qualified.”
Rocco-Petrella’s first vote was part of the Cortlandville Town Board’s unanimous approval of sales of $3-million in bonds for the first stage at Gutchess Sports Park.
“That should take care of the expenses for Phase 1, which will be two ballfields, turf fields, all professionally designed,” said Supervisor Tupper. “The first phase is expensive because we have to put in the underground water, sewer, electric, gas lines. They all have to be underground.”