The political winds already are blowing through the Village of Lancaster, three months before the next village election.
Paul Maute will not seek re-election for a second term as mayor in the March 21 election.
Instead, the Citizens' Party is backing three-term Trustee William C. Schroeder for mayor, an office with a four-year term that pays $12,900 a year.
Maute was appointed as a trustee in 1998 due to a vacancy and was elected subsequently to four terms before being appointed mayor in October 2012, when then-Mayor William Cansdale stepped down to become superintendent of village public works. Maute was elected to a four-year term as mayor in March 2013.
"My main goal is trying to maintain and improve the quality of life for our residents," Schroeder said. "I also think we're seeing somewhat of a resurgence of our business district and would like to improve on that."
Schroeder, who retired in June after a 37-year career with the Lancaster Central School District as a maintenance mechanic, said he would welcome "the challenges" if elected mayor.
"I love the village," he said. "My time as fire chief taught me a a lot of things about leadership."
While Maute is looking to step away from being mayor due to family commitments and work demands, he is not looking to leave the Village Board. Maute requested and received the endorsement of the Citizens' Party for one of two trustee sets.
The trustee seats include one held by Schroeder and by Russell Sugg.
Sugg last month lost his bid for a state Assembly seat in the 143rd district and announced on his Facebook page that he would not seek re-election as a village trustee. The annual trustee salary is $9,900.
The Citizens' Party also is backing for trustee Lynne Bona Ruda, a music teacher at Lancaster High School. Ruda is a member of the Lancaster Fire Department, as is Schroeder, a former chief and 38-year department member. Ruda is secretary of the fire department and its Eagle Hose Co. She also serves on the Lancaster Opera House board of directors.
Sugg is not ruling out future political ambitions, according to a recent post on his Facebook page.
"While I do not exclude future public office, I have decided not to seek re-election as Village of Lancaster trustee," he wrote. " When my term expires on April 1, 2017, I will devote my time and efforts to the creation of an informal Citizens Oversight and Good Governance Committee. I envision a non-political Committee which will scrutinize the conduct of our elected public officials. This citizens committee will make itself available to offer our government officials its opinions and insights."
Sugg's loss in the state Assembly race followed his failed bid in November 2015 for a Lancaster Town Board seat.
The Citizens' Party also endorsed Village Justice Paul T. Bumbalo for a fifth, four-year term. He also serves as acting Depew village justice.