Nelsonville Voters Agree to 5-Member Board (Updated)

O’Neill chosen as mayor, Potts elected trustee

By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong

Nelsonville voters on March 21 approved an expansion of the Village Board from three to five members.

The change, effective in 2018, will double the number of trustees, restoring the board to its size from 1855 to 1898.

Bill O’Neill, running unopposed to succeed Mayor Tom Corless, received 86 votes, and Alan Potts, running unopposed to succeed Trustee Danielle Pack McCarthy, received 81. There were four write-in votes for mayor and two for trustee.

O’Neill said he was “grateful to the people for their confidence in me. I look forward to making a strong, long-term contribution to the health and dynamism of our community.”

A retired managing director and chief global marketing officer of Standard & Poor’s Corporate Finance, O’Neill has chaired Nelsonville’s Planning Board for 20 years. He and his wife, Frances, raised two sons in Nelsonville.

Potts, a teacher and former Peace Corps volunteer, was not present when the results were announced. However, the next day he said he felt “humbled by the show of trust from the residents of Nelsonville” and pledged to “work diligently” with O’Neill and Trustee Thomas Robertson “to care for the needs of our village.”

Potts also extended “many thanks to the voters for their support, and to Trustee Pack McCarthy and Mayor Corless for their labors.” Pack McCarthy and Corless chose not to run for re-election.

Robertson, who championed the board expansion, said he was pleased with the vote, which he said gave the village a “full board” and would end the potential open-meeting law problems that can plague a three-person board. (Two members constitute a quorum, so a chance encounter on the street could prompt questions of whether official business occurred.)

O’Neill and Potts are scheduled to be sworn at the April 17 board meeting.