SOUTH GLENS FALLS — A Green Party member is now a Village Board trustee for the first time in village history.

Christine Elms won the special election Tuesday night with 62 votes. Two residents mounted a write-in challenge, but neither came close to winning.

Former Mayor Joe Orlow received 17 votes and resident Pam Friers got 16 votes, in final results, said village Clerk/Treasurer Shannon Kelleher.

Elms was previously believed to be the first woman to ever serve on the Village Board. But on Tuesday, Mayor Harry Gutheil determined there had been one woman before her. Gail Abare, who died last year, was a South Glens Falls village trustee in the 1970s.

But it has been several decades since then. Village officials can’t remember any other women serving before now.

Elms went door to door campaigning last year for a trustee position and again this year for the seat vacated when Trustee Bill Hayes resigned early. Winning isn’t going to stop her door-to-door efforts, she said.

“I plan to continue door-knocking once a month just to check in: How are you feeling about what’s going on? How are you feeling about the village?” Elms said. “I think that’s important.”

Some board members rely on residents contacting them or coming to board meetings, but Elms said other people need to be brought into the conversation.

“A lot of people feel disenfranchised, feel their voices haven’t been heard. People have just given up,” Elms said.

So she plans to go to them.

She also hopes to convince residents to run for office.

“I hope to encourage people to get politically active, especially young people — even if it’s only to vote,” she said.

She doesn’t have a particular issue she wants to tackle first on the Village Board. She will start her work by studying the issues and prioritizing them.

“The first part is obviously going to be learning, delving deeper into the issues,” she said. “I’m just happy the voters have given me this opportunity.”

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You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.<


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