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Write-in candidate Frost wins Brocton mayoral election

March 24, 2016
By Ann Belcher ( , Westfield Republican

BROCTON - The Village of Brocton Board of Trustees will see some new and some returning faces as of April 4 when the new elected officials' terms begin. The village will see a new mayor in office with Richard Frost being declared the winner of write-in votes Tuesday, with 20 votes.

Carol Horlacher received 18 write-in votes. A scattering of 22 other write-in votes were submitted, and 88 ballots were left blank or void for the mayor slot.

Frost, who was reached by phone Tuesday evening, has accepted his nomination and looks forward to working with the trustees. Also elected Tuesday were Craig Miller (R) with 86 votes, who officially ran for the seat vacated by former trustee Dale Van Vlack; and Carol Horlacher (D, Tax) with 70 votes, who had the second highest number of votes next to Miller. Edged out of trustee seats were Nick Rizzo III (R) with 52 votes and Jason DeJoe (D, Tax) with 62 votes. There were no write-in votes, and 26 ballots were left blank or void for the trustee seats.

After being approached by members of the community, Frost stated Tuesday that he discussed the potential nomination and election with his wife Donna (Adzimo, a town of Portland native) before seriously considering it. He took just a short amount of time prior to Tuesday's election before posting a Facebook campaign and talking to as many community residents as time would allow.

Frost is semi-retired and still works for Frost Transportation in the village, stating that will leave him "more than enough time" to devote to the future of Brocton and the major projects that lie ahead.

"After discussing this with my wife and family, I decided that I owe it to myself and to the residents of the village of Brocton to try to become elected to this position and serve," stated Frost.

As a write-in victor, Frost nudged out winning trustee Carol Horlacher to be named Brocton's new mayor. He is no stranger to civic activities, having served more than one term on the Board of Education for Brocton Central School, as well as serving on the community's Businessman's Association and the Industrial Development Association for Brocton and Portland. Many know Frost as a dedicated softball coach, as he was the coach who led the Brocton girls softball team to the New York State Championship in 1992. He has also served with the local Masonic Lodge for a number of years, and is an active parish member of St. Dominic's Catholic Church of Brocton.

He and his wife Donna raised their two daughters in the community. Both daughters, Michelle Helmer and Melissa Kelly, are graduates of BCS and reside in Fredonia with their families, which include the Frosts' four grandchildren.

"I would like to thank the residents of Brocton for having the faith in me and allowing me the opportunity to serve, and I look forward to doing the very best I can for my term as mayor. I have several things in mind that I will discuss in depth once I'm sworn in as mayor, but I will say I'm most looking forward to putting Brocton back on the map."

Current Mayor Dave Hazelton, who has counted his days in office down to less than 20, congratulated Frost and added that "It will be a challenge, just as it was for Dale (Abram, outgoing trustee) and for myself, to sit in that chair and resolve whatever issues come up. I will be here and will make myself available for anything that's needed from me."

Hazleton will be able to breathe a sigh of relief as Frost takes office, but states he will still remain incredibly active with his role in the Brocton Fire Department as well as enjoying increased time with his family. He notes that the timing of his term ending is somewhat awkward as a new board prepares to hold public hearings and vote on the budget that he prepared with the current board of trustees and department heads, but reiterated he will be on hand to assist any of them through the process if needed.

He reminds those getting ready to serve, as well as the residents of Brocton, that there are still some heavy-duty civic projects in store for the small village. The water line replacement project is getting underway in April and Brocton joining the regional water system are just two large-scale projects in the beginning stages, while the future of 10 East Main Street remains to be determined.

"This community belongs to all of us, and I definitely hope that this board will see more participation from the community in the future. I would like to thank those people who put their names in the running, and congratulate those who won this evening while there are still challenges facing them. Serving your community isn't an individual effort. You have to do this job as a group, and it's truly a team effort on all levels, from village, town, county and state elected officials. I thank this community for allowing me the honor to serve in this capacity. My thanks also go out to our village employees. I've never once asked for something to be done of our employees and not had it taken care of immediately. The people of this village can be very proud of the services provided and the dedication by our village employees."

Newly elected trustee Craig Miller added that he's looking forward to a "good term" as trustee and "getting some pride restored in this community."

Elected officials, which include Justice James Craig, who ran unopposed on this year's ballot with support from both the Democrat and Republican parties, will be officially sworn in the first week in April.

He received 118 votes in the election out of a possible 148. There were two write-in votes and 28 ballots were left blank or void for the justice position.



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