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Incumbent Canton mayor faces challenger

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CANTON — Village residents will decide Tuesday whether Mayor David P. Curry keeps his post or relinquishes it to Trustee Mary Ann Ashley for the next two years.

Ms. Ashley, a registered Republican, is running on the Democratic line because Mr. Curry won the GOP endorsement at the Sept. 11 caucus. The following evening, Canton Democrats endorsed Ms. Ashley. If Ms. Ashley becomes mayor, she would appoint her trustee replacement to serve one year on the five-member board.

Mr. Curry, 20 Lincoln St., said village government has been running smoothly during his first term as mayor. The lifelong Canton resident’s background includes 19 years as a village trustee.

A native of Ogdensburg, Ms. Ashley, 1 East Drive, has resided in Canton for 30 years. A counselor for St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services, she has served three years as a village trustee and has said focusing on people is more important than party politics. During this campaign season, Ms. Ashley said, residents have expressed concern about village taxes and attracting more businesses to Canton.

She said the village should implement the Canton Community Action and Canton Waterfront Revitalization plans.

“We need to continue to upgrade our roads, sidewalks and water/sewer systems,” she said. “We need to market Canton to bring more businesses which will have a positive impact on our tax base.”

During his leadership as mayor, Mr. Curry said, the property tax rate has not increased and water and sewer rates have remained fairly stable.

Although the community has outstanding bonds for some capital projects, such as the fire station, the sewer lagoon system and pavilion upgrades, the village is not carrying an excessive amount of debt, the mayor said.

“We are well under borrowing limits set by the state,” Mr. Curry said. “The projects we bonded for were necessary projects that had to be done for the community. We have been fiscally conservative.”

Mr. Curry also said he has been responsive to community residents who telephone him with concerns such as downed trees and potholes. As a longtime business owner, he said, he’s accessible to the public and handles issues in a timely manner. He owns and operates Dave’s II, a bar at 37 Main St.

“People know if they call me I’ll follow through and take care of it,” Mr. Curry said. “I have a good relationship with department heads and employees.”

As mayor, Ms. Ashley said, she would continue to concentrate on debt reduction and avoiding a tax increase.

Her other priorities include development, employee working conditions, contract negotiations and municipal services.

She said she has not decided whom to appoint to replace her on the board, but the choice would be in collaboration with other trustees.

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