2023 Elected officials The following individuals are currently serving as locally elected officials:
Town Supervisor: Mark Witmer (has served 4 terms, is running for re-election, endorsed by Caroline Democratic Committee)
Mark is a biologist and teacher by background and has lived and worked in Caroline since 2003. He likes to hike, golf, bird-watch, and fish when he is not at the town hall. Mark is married to Ann Herzig and they have two daughters, Ruth and Freida. They are both horse-people. Ruth is a biologist and is studying to be a horse vet. Freida is an artist, with a passion for fiber arts and fashion. Their family is completed by Sparky, a happy mutt, Uno, a half-blind cat, and some chickens.
Mark says: "I want to continue the great progress we’ve made in Caroline towards building a low-cost, comfortable, energy efficient community. Both town halls are now heated and cooled by ground-source heat pumps. We’ve installed an electric-vehicle charging station at the town hall to contribute to the ev-infrastructure that is needed for the future. Our town energy advisory committee brought Solarize to Caroline, which then was grown to county and then state-wide Solarize and HeatSmart programs to promote affordable residential solar, home energy improvements, and heat pumps for our residents.
Our current work to develop a town zoning law is the outgrowth of dedicated planning work by community volunteers in identifying community visions and goals and then actively making goals a reality. Over the past three years with colleagues and key personnel of the Tompkins County Council of Governments and the Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response, we’ve laid the groundwork to support and enhance rural emergency medical response. I look forward to continuing that important work. I’m excited that we are now focusing our efforts and resources toward development of a municipal broadband utility that will enhance reliability, competition, and affordability of broadband for our residents. Two ambitious town capital projects underway are the building of new highway facilities and renovation of the Historic Town Hall. And we are still working with NYSEG to make the extension of the South Hill Recreation Way Trail through Caroline a reality in the near future. We’ve got a lot going on. I look forward to continuing our work together to keeping Caroline such a great place to live." Contact: email@example.com
Town Board: Kate Kelley-Mackenzie (has served 1.5 years, is running for re-election, is endorsed by the Caroline Democratic Committee)
Kate moved to the historic Cantine home in Brooktondale in 1993 with her husband. They are the proud parents of two sons. She has been an active resident and volunteer for over thirty years. Her community service includes volunteer work with Boy Scouts Troop 55 and Pack 4, and La Leche League. She has also been active at St. Catherine of Sienna Church and the Ithaca Waldorf School. For the Town of Caroline, she has been a long-term member of our Natural Areas and Trails Committee and served terms on Ithaca Tompkins County Transportation Council and the Environmental Management Council for Tompkins County. She also volunteered on the BCC board. She is particularly proud that she organized Brooktondale Pedestrian Community creating a no passing zone on Valley/Brooktondale Rd, and advocated for the sidewalk on the Lounsbery Bridge.
Kate states, “I am running for Town Board to continue my work in obtaining affordable Broadband for every residence in the town, supporting responsible land use regulation including zoning, making roads safer for everyone, creating pedestrian ways where possible, and making the South Hill Recreation Trail connection a reality.”
Through her work as a volunteer and professional work as a teacher and researcher (Cornell, NIH, and Los Alamos National Lab to name a few), Kate has proven communication and management skills and the ability to work collaboratively with team efforts. She has direct knowledge of the ongoing Dryden Broadband Initiative and recently obtained over $200,000 in grant money for Caroline. Her numerous hobbies include hiking, camping, horseback riding, taking care of an old house, adventures with the Scouts, parish activities and cooking.
Town Board: Tim Murray (has served 2 terms and 1 year, is running for re-election, is endorsed by the Caroline Democratic Committee)
A Caroline resident for 41 years, Tim is proud to serve as Deputy Supervisor on the Caroline Town Council. He supports the promotion of local housing, business, and agriculture. And he endorses community efforts to protect the environment and our homes and local businesses from incompatible land use through enactment of responsible zoning. He will continue to advocate for expanded emergency health services and broadband, energy independence, support of public safety, and extension of the South Hill Recreation Way, cost effective renewal of town and highway infrastructures and fleets. He is committed to fiscal responsibility and to seeking out county, state, and federal grants to support new and ongoing initiatives. In addition to continued funding of youth programs, the Food Pantry, and the Reading Room, Tim would like to see expanded support of the underprivileged, enhanced public transportation, and greater programming for local seniors and the history club.
Murray says that “having spent four years as Board Liaison to the Zoning Commission and the revised Comprehensive Plan, I am inspired to seek reelection by the contributions of our tireless committee volunteers who lend their expertise and passion to shared and transparent town governance. Let’s keep working together to fulfill our Town’s commitment to diversity, ecology, and responsible planning.”
A widely published author from his home business in Caroline, Tim is a Cornell professor of film and contemporary art with decades of experience in national board service, administration, and robust private, state, and federal fundraising. His passions are hockey, boating, art, and caring for his Caroline historic home. Tim is married to artist Renate Ferro. Both have been active in the Caroline community for decades and have served on the Caroline and Tompkins County Democratic Committees. Their grown children, Ashley and Erin Ferro-Murray are also artists who attended Caroline School. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Town Clerk - Jessie Townsend (has served one term, is running unopposed for re-election)
Jessie served as Caroline’s Deputy Town Clerk in 2018, and as an assistant to Highway Superintendent Cindy Whittaker. Now she serves as the Town Clerk. Jessie is currently working as assistant to Cindy Whittaker, the Town Highway Superintendent. Jessie’s colleagues at the Town offices speak very highly of her skills and dedication and are enthusiastic about her decision to run for re-election. Jessie lives in Caroline Center, two miles from the house where she grew up. She loves the town and her work serving the residents of the community and hopes to do so for many years to come. Jessie is married (14 years, in September) to Matt, who works for the Highway Department in Cayuga Heights. They have two daughters Lacey (13) and Aubrey (10) who attend or attended Caroline Elementary School – where Jessie also went to school as a child. Jessie loves animals and currently has two dogs and a cat, and been known to take in rescues.
Highway Superintendent Bobby Spencer (has served one term, is running unopposed for re-election)
Robert Spencer Jr (better known as Bobby) was born and raised in Caroline and was later employed here by the highway department for two years, before successfully running for Highway Superintendent in 2019. He has maintained good working relationships with many town and county officials as well as residents in Caroline. His previous work experience includes three years as a mechanic for Finishline Automotive and four years as a heavy equipment operator and foreman for Carson Groundworks. Bobby is aware that the primary responsibilities of the position involve planning, budgeting, complying with regulations, communicating with agencies and the public, and so forth, and he has done a good job handling these responsibilities, with the unexpected addition of carrying on his work during COVID. He is looking forward to having a new Town Highway barn. Bobby has 5 children and a grandson.
Town Justice -Susan Barr (has served 3 terms, is running unopposed for re-election)
Susan has served as a judge in Caroline for eight years and is seeking re-election to the Town Justice position. Her previous professional experience includes seven years in the military, as an Army Officer in the Corps of Engineers and as a paratrooper. A 27-year resident of Caroline, Susan has volunteered extensively as a 4-H club leader, on the town planning board, and on the board of the Brooktondale Community Center. She has handled arraignments at all hours, traffic court, search warrants, civil lawsuits, and evictions, all while treating local residents with compassion and respect. She believes that anyone can “do something stupid” at some point, and our society benefits if these people see a way forward. Susan is married to a computer scientist who teaches at IC. Her daughter engineers wind turbines and her son is a computer tech support guy. In her free time, Susan enjoys making Ukrainian Easter eggs, gardening, cycling, playing tenor recorder, and carving wood spoons.
2022 Election results
2022 was a statewide election year. We voted for Governor, Lt Gov, AG and Comptroller, as well as for US Senate and Congress, and New York Assembly and State Senate. Locally, residents of Caroline also voted for Sheriff and County Clerk. Our endorsed candidates, and the results of their races, are listed below.
Kathy Hochul for Governor -- won Brian Benjamin for Lt. Governor -- won Tom DiNapoli for Comptroller -- won Tish James for AG -- won Chuck Schumer for US Senate -- won Josh Riley for US Congress -- narrowly lost Lea Webb for NY Senate -- narrowly won Anna Kelles for NY Assembly -- won (unopposed) Derek Osborne for TC Sheriff -- won (unopposed) Maureen Reynolds for TC Clerk -- won (unopposed)
Although that list includes mostly wins, Democrats in Tompkins County and elsewhere are doing a fair amount of soul-searching. The statewide races were much closer than expected. Josh's loss was huge for us in CD19. Will we be able to win the seat in 2024? It depends on many factors, with increased Democratic turnout being a key factor. In Caroline, we have to take our game up a notch, to help Josh win in 2024 if he runs again... and we have the perfect opportunity to practice and get in shape, because we have local elections in 2023!
2021 Election Results County Legislature: Dan Klein Town Supervisor: Mark Witmer Town Justice: Gary Reinbolt Town Board (4 year term): Cal Snow Town Board (4 year term): Katherine Goldberg Town Board (2 year remainder term): Kate Kelley-Mackenzie
All of our candidates ran unopposed in November 2021
2019 Election Results Town Supervisor: Mark Witmer (to his 3rd term) Town Justice: Susan Barr (to her 3rd term) Town Highway Superintendent: Bobby Spencer (to his 1st term) Town Clerk: Jessie Townsend (to her 1st term) Town Board (4 year term): Tim Murray (to his 1st full term) Town Board (4 year term): Irene Weiser, who resigned and was replaced by Katherine Goldberg
Caroline Town Elected officials also include: (biographical information to follow)
Cal Snow, Town Council, second term, expires 12/31/25 Gary Reinbolt, Town Justice, second term, expires 12/31/25
Past Town of Caroline elected Democrats of note, who still live in Caroline, include:
Don Barber, Town Supervisor John Fracchia, Town Council MaryLou Harrington, Town Clerk Cindy Whittaker, Town Highway Superintendent Katherine Goldberg, Town Council Aaron Snow, Town Council Ed Cope, Town Council Irene Weiser, Town Council (see below)
A retired veterinarian, Irene has been a Caroline resident for 27 years. In her 8 years of service to Caroline, she has tackled some of the town's most vexing issues with dogged persistence. She obtained funding and secured broadband service in northeast and southeast Caroline, and pledges to continue efforts until every household has access. She established a County-wide Emergency Medical Services Task Force, whose efforts resulted in the formation of County recruitment and training programs to address volunteer shortages. She serves on the County’s Energy Advisory committee and seeks to provide affordable, renewable energy to all Caroline residents. Most recently she has been working to find suitable locations for hydrants to ensure our firefighters have ready access to water year-round, and to find ways to address the growth and parking challenges in the Brooktondale hamlet. Irene enjoys walking her dogs on the South Hill Recreation trail and looks forward to extending access to the trail into Caroline.
Town of Caroline Candidate Forum
Sponsored by the Tompkins County League of Women Voters took place on October 22, 2019, 7:00 PM Fire Hall, Brooktondale (786 Valley Rd)
The Tompkins County League of Women Voters was established in 1920. They are a nonpartisan political organization well-known for promoting informed voting.
The following candidates all participated in the forum: Town Supervisor: Mark Witmer (Dem, Caroline Party) and Pete Hoyt (Rep, Indep) Highway Superintendent: Dallas Micha (Rep, Indep), Bobby Spencer (Dem, Caroline) Town Councilperson: Karyn Lyn Scott, Tony Tavelli (Rep, Independence Party), Irene Weiser, Tim Murray (Dem, Caroline Party)
Also attending were two candidates for uncontested races: Town Justice: Susan Barr (Democrat, Caroline Party) Town Clerk: Jessie Townsend (Democrat, Caroline Party)