Sierra Club Finger Lakes Group




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2013 Group Elections

The activities of the Finger Lakes Group of the Sierra Club are directed by an Executive Committee composed of elected volunteers from the Group. The ExCom meets monthly to set Finger Lakes Group policy in conservation, political endorsements, financial and political activity. The ExCom elects the Group officers and Group representative to the Atlantic (New York State) Chapter ExCom, approves appointments for the Group’s conservation and administrative committees, and determines policy and involvement in Finger Lakes area activities and campaigns. Members are elected for two-year terms. There are 11 seats on the Ex-Com, staggered so that half of them expire each year, creating opportunities for activist Sierra Club members to become involved in Sierra Club Group leadership.

2013 Candidates

Seven candidates have been nominated by the Finger Lakes Group Nominating Committee for seven open seats on the Finger Lakes Group ExCom. The Nominating Committee invited Club members to nominate themselves and urged qualified candidates to run. The candidates are listed alphabetically by last name.

Harold Bauer, Sparta
Patrick Brown, Hornell
Steve Jakobi, Alfred
Bill Mattingly, Painted Post
Erin Riddle, Elmira
Gene Stolfi, Corning
Jim Trondson, Painted Post

Cast Your Vote by February 24!

Please read the Candidate Statements below. Indicate your choices on the ballot found on the back cover of the Winter 2013-2014 Finger Lakes Group newsletter. Due to the expansion of the Executive Committee in 2008, all candidates may be voted into office. Mail your ballots so that they are received on or before February 24, 2014.

2013 Candidate Statements

Harold Bauer, Sparta, Livingston County

Extinction is forever, now a familiar reframe, may apply to our mass extinction. My study of human relations leads me to imagine extinction maybe in our fu-ture due to overpopulation and climate change. In 1960 we were 3 billion. Widespread use of fossil fuels for energy, fertilizer, and transport, plus the suppression of women’s rights, education and reproductive choice, over-doubled human population. Before, isolated civilizations collapsed. Now, through global interdependence and extreme fossil fuel development and com-bustion, our planetary civilization collapse of 7.2 billion people is realistic. Sustainable transition practices, as local farming and renewable energy devel-opment replacing fossil fuels, offer hope. In 1992, I returned to NYS with my family, NIH grant, then raised our two-children on our organic farm with the help of NOFA NY and PASA conferences. In their school, I organized annual Earth Week Programs. I was chosen by the Atlantic Chapter to lead the Wilder-ness and Wildlife Committee, then was elected for four-years, as an Atlantic At Large Delegate. (This involves 4 meetings & about 6-calls per year.) I joined the Gas Drilling Taskforce, welcomed 1200+ to our Dansville DEC Hearing, anti-frack rally, formed FFG and Sparta300 with friends to promote Town frack-moratoriums. In the last two years, I worked on the Energy Committee meet-ings (20+/year) passing our Chapter Resolution for 100% Renewable energy for NYS by 2030, giving such presentations in Transition Talks. This year we also passed our Fossil-Fuel-divestment resolution. If elected, I will continue my hopeful work as a FL delegate.

Patrick Brown, Hornell, Steuben County

I have been a member of the FLG Sierra Club for over 6 years. I compost, recycle, and do what I can to protect and preserve the environment for future generations. I have a great love of the outdoors and want to see our natural resources protected from pollution and destruction. I keep well informed of various environmental issues. I have helped organize and participated in activi-ties sponsored by the FLG whose goals are to preserve and protect our earth.

Steve Jakobi, Alfred, Allegany County

Although I was born and reared in a large city (Budapest, Hungary), my heart always was in the meadows, forests and farms of the countryside. I never lost my fascination of, and appreciation for, nature. In my personal and professional life I strive to be an active environmentalist. This involves every facet of my life, from composting and recycling to supporting environmental causes. I try to use a reasoned approach to my activism, realizing that people have needs and desires that can, in many cases, co-exist with environmental protection. These are also values that I try to instill in my students at Alfred State College, where I teach biology, forestry and environmental science. At the same time, some potentially disastrous industrial practices, like hydrofracking, must be opposed with vigor. In addition to membership in the Sierra Club, I am member of The Nature Conservancy, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and several other organi-zations and community groups.

Bill Mattingly, Painted Post, Steuben County

I am a western NY native, currently living in Painted Post, NY. My technical training includes a PhD in Materials Science from Cornell University (1995), and BS Chemical Engineering from University of Detroit, (1980). I’ve been active in the Finger Lakes Group for about 3 years. During that time, I was a key contributor in the development of the NY Water Sentinels program; an effort started in 2012 to test local streams for evidence of hydrofracking con-tamination. I’m continuing that effort as coordinator for the Painted Post NY Water Sentinels. I am also a member of the Steuben County Environmental Council.

Erin Riddle, Elmira, Chemung County

I joined the Sierra Club in 1999 while living in Ithaca. I met a fellow member involved in the Finger Lakes Group who invited me to join. I soon became Vice Chair of the Group, then Chair for three years. I have since been serving the Sierra Club in various roles at the national, chapter, and groups level. I founded and chaired the Atlantic Chapter Farm & Food Committee to address the indus-trialization of our food systems in New York State and support sustainable farming practices. In addition, I have served as the website manager, newsletter editor, and a number of other leadership positions in both the Finger Lakes and Susquehanna Groups, including Group Delegate to the Executive Committee. I also work actively to oppose the approval of high volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State, an issue that especially affects my community in one of the apparent targeted Counties for initial permitting, and am currently representing the Atlantic Chapter in a coalition to pass a GMO labeling law. Furthermore, I work well with fellow activists and staff, am effective team player, and encour-age non-members concerned about public health and the environment to join the Sierra Club and get involved. I look forward to working with the Finger Lakes Group again and would be honored to serve on the Executive Commit-tee. Feel free to contact me at riddleriddle at or 607-372-5503.

Gene Stolfi, Corning, Steuben County

Hello, fellow Sierrans! I am re-election to the Finger Lakes Group Executive Committee. This will be the fourth time I have run, and if you choose to vote for me, I will continue to work for you. Environmentalists in New York State are making a difference in protecting our water and quality of life. New York groups were influential in delaying hydrofracking up to this point. This struggle is far from over, and we continue to need your support. I am part of a joint Sierra Club, Coalition to Protect New York and People for a Healthy Environ-ment, Inc. legal action against water withdrawal for fracking from the Susque-hanna aquifer at its beginning. The Chemung River starts in Painted Post, New York, where three rivers join and charge the beginning of the Susquehanna River and its aquifer. I have been tracking the water quality of the municipal water systems of Corning, Painted Post and Erwin, all in New York, for ap-proximately two years. I have data sets indicating that excessive water with-drawal increases the T.D.S. (total dissolved solids) in these water bodies. There is much work still to be done. Thank you for your vote of support.

Jim Trondson, Painted Post, Steuben County

I have been a member of Sierra Club for over 12 years and have been on the Finger Lakes Group Executive Committee ten years. I worked as a materials engineer in a local industry and retired this June. I have lived in the Corning area for most of my life and enjoy hiking, biking and fishing in the beautiful Finger Lakes region. My main interests in Sierra Club are water quality, wet-lands, and outdoor recreation. I believe that the Finger Lakes area has a very healthy sustainable economy in large part due to quality of life in our area as an attractor for sustainable business, and due to the 3 billion dollar tourism econo-my. We must work creatively to preserve and protect this quality.

Election & Voting Procedures

Please read all the Candidate Statements above. Indicate your choices by checking the boxes next to the candidates’ names on the ballot found on the back cover of the newsletter. Due to the expansion of the Executive Committee in 2008, all candidates can be voted in to office. Each member may fill out only one ballot. Joint members use both ballots. Ballots should not be cut or separated. DO NOT remove the mail-ing label. It is used to verify that the ballot is being submitted by a Finger Lakes Sierra member. It will be removed prior to ballots being counted—secrecy will be ensured. Putting your folded ballot in an envelope is the best way to send it. If you don’t use an envelope, please fold and secure as indicated. PLEASE, tape it—NO staples! Affix a first class stamp and mail to:

c/o Frank Potter
109 Main Street, Big Flats, NY 14814

If lost or damaged, members may request a replacement from the Finger Lakes Group Election Committee. A replacement ballot bearing the requesting member’s membership number and a signature of a Group representative will be sent out. If you have any questions or problems, contact the Election Committee (607) 301-4006 or email: fpotter at Mail your ballots so that they are received on or before February 24, 2014.

Winter 2013 Election Schedule

Tues., Oct. 15, 2013 – Applications for nomination must be emailed or postmarked.
Wed., Oct. 17, 2013 – Nominating Committee Candidates announced.
Thurs. Nov. 7, 2013 – Petitions from petition candidates must be postmarked.
[Due to unforeseen circumstances, the mailing of the newsletter and ballots has been delayed. The new dates are below.]
On or about Tues., Feb. 4, 2014 – Ballots with candidate bios will be mailed.
Mon., Feb. 24, 2014 – Closing date of the election. Ballots must be postmarked.

Call for Nominations

We encourage Sierra Club members to become active in the Finger Lakes Group and run for the Group Executive Committee in the Group’s annual election this fall. Five positions on the Executive Committee are up for election this year. The top five vote getters in the election will receive two year terms on the Executive Committee. All current Sierra Club members are eligible to run for the Finger Lakes Group Executive Committee. After the election, the new Executive Committee members will elect group officers.

The Nominating Committee seeks members interested in serving on the ExCom who are:

• experienced environmental activists

• able and willing to dedicate sufficient personal time to Board duties

• able to think and plan strategically and politically

• aware of critical environmental issues

• representative of our area's diverse ethnic and geographical communities

The Finger Lakes Group ExCom is a working board. All members are expected to:

• prepare for and attend eight or more ExCom meetings each year

• communicate regularly via e-mail

• participate in other meetings and events on behalf of the ExCom or the Club

• actively serve on one or more of the Club’s committees or task forces