After a decade of service as the Summerhill town supervisor, Charles Ripley said it was time for a change. 

A native of Summerhill, Ripley was actually planning to retire when he said he was approached by Republican Cayuga County Legislator Terry Baxter. Baxter had decided he would not run for re-election, but encouraged Ripley to put his name in for the position. 

"There were a number of projects that I had hoped to accomplish when I was supervisor and I thought, 'Man, this is an opportunity to maybe finish things up and I could help this whole end of the county," he said. "So (Baxter) convinced me to do it." 

Ripley will be on the ballot in November under the Republican line. His opponent, Kathleen Gorr, is listed on the Democratic and Independence party lines and an independent line, Fix Our Roads. 

Before becoming town supervisor, Ripley said he was a gentleman farmer who raised beef, eggs and chickens on Ripley Farms in Moravia. When he was elected supervisor, his daughter took over the farm. 

Now, if elected as the county legislator for District 9, Ripley said he would prioritize many of the same things he did as supervisor, particularly road maintenance, water quality and consolidating the local courts. 

Throughout his term as supervisor, Ripley said he fought for the town to take over county highway repairs, something he would continue to do as legislator. 

"I think that there is a lot more than the town should be doing rather than the county in our case," he said. "I'm not saying we've been neglected, but I think down here in our location we could do a lot better job on the county roads than the county can." 

In addition, Ripley said he believes the towns in District 9 — Niles, Moravia, Sempronius and Summerhill — should consolidate their local courts by creating two district justice positions. That would save taxpayers money while establishing a more impartial judicial system. 

"As it's set up now the justices know everybody in the town, so if you try to get an impartial decision on something it's tough," he said, noting that there are currently six town justices in the district. "This would help save on justices in the budget ... and we could cut out some of the court clerks, too." 

Lastly, Ripley said he would also fight for stricter regulation to protect local water bodies and prevent harmful algal blooms.

"I think at the county level the Legislature can help tighten up the regulations on that," he said. "The farmers need better means of transporting (manure) and more regulations on when to spread it and what to do after they spread it."

Staff writer Megan Blarr can be reached at (315) 282-2282 or megan.blarr@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @CitizenBlarr. 

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Crime and Courts Reporter