GENEVA — City Council once again has Sixth Ward representation.
On Wedesday night, Council voted unanimously to appoint Dana Hollenbeck.
She was sworn in and took her place among the other council members.
It was unclear prior to the meeting who Council would be appointing. A discussion/appointment was on the agenda, but no name was provided.
Hollenbeck was one of the Sixth Ward candidates Council met with in executive session on June 24, although three members, Republicans Paul D’Amico and Gordy Eddington, and Democrat Jason Hagerman were not in attendance.
D’Amico and Eddington said Wednesday that they had met privately with Hollenbeck and came away impressed. In fact, Eddington was the one who made a motion to appoint Hollenbeck, with D’Amico providing the second.
“I think she’ll do a great job,” Eddington said.
Councilor Ken Camera called her a “fantastic candidate.”
Prior to the vote, Mayor Ron Alcock read a letter from Lisa Salotti, who asked to be withdrawn from consideration for the seat, saying she was “disappointed with the process.”
Hollenbeck will serve until the end of the year, after which Juanita Aikens, who does not have a party affiliation but is running on the Democratic line, or John Pruett, a Libertarian endorsed by the city Republican Committee, will take the seat after they face off in the November election.
Hollenbeck is a Democrat.
“As a dedicated resident, I am interested in finding out more about how this city government works and am excited to make the most of this interim position,” she said in a statement issued by the city Thursday. “I moved to the city of Geneva 10 years ago and have lived in Ward 6 since day one. I rented at first then purchased a foreclosed home on Evans Street in 2015, which my partner and I have been rehabbing.”
Hollenbeck said she is an associate real estate broker with Keller Williams and also works part time at Hobart & William Smith Colleges. She serves on the city’s Board of Assessment Review and accepted the chairperson position this past spring.
The new Sixth Ward councilor said she is also a volunteer with the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, monitoring the shoreline for harmful algal blooms and invasive plants.
“I fell in love with Geneva as soon as I moved here and have been in awe at the continuous growth and evolution the city is going through,” she said.
The appointment ends a protracted debate on who would fill the job. Both parties were pushing for their November candidate to be appointed.
In May, Council deadlocked 4-4 on two successive resolutions to fill the position — first with Aikens and then with Pruett.
Members ultimately agreed to select someone not running for the seat, but Democrats still wanted the appointee to be from their party, as the Sixth Ward has generally been represented by a Democrat.
A week later, Council voted unanimously to appoint Edith Wormley to the position until the end of the year. However, they learned the next day that she had rejected the appointment. The search for candidates was renewed.
Eileen Buckley, vice chair of the Geneva City Democratic Committee, said the party is “grateful to all of Council for their willingness to support the Democratic history of Ward 6 and more importantly the Democratic legacy of late John Greco and before him, Donald Ninestine. We are most grateful to to Dana Hollenbeck for her willingness to represent her neighbors on Council for the next six months. In November, voters will decide who can best reflect their values and advocate for their goals. Again, thank you Council for enabling the voters to make this decision.”
Hollenbeck encouraged city residents to contact her at Dhollenbeck8@gmail.com or by phone at (585) 734-4856. She will have a city email address soon.