By Joel Grossbarth
A State Supreme Court Judge has removed incumbent Mayor Phillip Gigante from the upcoming village election ballot and effectively ended his tenure as Mayor of Airmont. Judge Sherri Eisenpress granted a petition filed by political newcomer Nathan Bubel which claimed Gigante’s designating petitions were replete with irregularities and violations of New York State Election laws. Judge Eisenpress’s ruling also removed two incumbent trustees Paul Marchesani and Anthony Valvo from seeking re-election along with Mayor Gigante. Gigante and the trustees removed themselves after admitting they did not have the requisite number of proper signatures.
The removal of Gigante from the March 19 election leaves a two-person race for mayor of Airmont. Bubel now faces former Mayor Ralph Bracco to determine who will lead Airmont from what has been described as a turbulent past six years.
Shortly after the ruling, Bracco released a statement stating “I want to make sure that everyone has a voice in this Village going forward. It is time the Village gets together and unites as one; I had been successful in such efforts for at least ten years. Residents should be allowed to live together, gather together and work together,” said Bracco. “For the next four years, Airmont will be an example of how government is supposed to serve ALL members of the community, and won’t exclude anyone!” said Bracco.
Gigante and the trustees’ removal terminates the Preserve Ramapo candidates from the Village board. The Village Board will have a completely new makeup come April. Bracco is running with trustee candidates Angela Thompson and Ronald Roberti on the Airmont Future Party line while Bubel is running with political newcomers Brian Downey and Migdalia Pesante.