Candidates debate whether Fair Haven mayor should retain post if elected Cayuga County legislator

The candidates for the Cayuga County Legislature’s 1st district participate in a televised forum at Cayuga Community College on Tuesday, Sept. 28. The candidates are Caitlyn Augustyn and James Basile. 

Whether Jim Basile will remain mayor of Fair Haven if he is elected to the Cayuga County Legislature was a hot topic during a forum featuring the candidates for the 1st district seat. 

There is nothing in state law that would prevent Basile, R-Fair Haven from holding both positions. In Cayuga County and specifically Fair Haven, there is precedent: Two of Basile’s predecessors, Loren Geer and Ralph Standbrook, simultaneously served as county legislators and the village’s mayor. 

Basile, speaking during the forum taped at Cayuga Community College on Tuesday, said he wouldn’t run for county Legislature if he had to relinquish his post as mayor. But he also did not say whether he would keep the position if he is elected to represent the 1st district, which includes the towns of Sterling and Victory. 

“I will assess that and evaluate it after my successful run,” he said. 

Basile’s opponent, Democratic candidate Caitlyn Augustyn, questioned whether one person should hold both positions, noting that the village of Fair Haven and the town of Sterling are “at a critical point in their growth cycle.” 

“That’s why I’m running to give people a choice,” she said. 

Candidates for Cayuga County Legislature District 1, covering the towns of Sterling and Victory, took part in a forum produced by telecommunication students at Cayuga Community College on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

That led to a back-and-forth from the candidates about what has emerged as an issue in the 1st district race. After Augustyn’s initial comments, Basile suggested that his opponent’s business ventures — she owns Eat Me Ice Cream, a Rochester-based food manufacturing business — are also time-consuming. He reiterated his stance that he would assess his situation and the time required for both jobs after the election. 

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