Archer To Run For Seat On Leesburg Town Council

(photo supplied / Times Union)

Christina Archer retired from a 25-year teaching career in Texas eight years ago and then returned to her native Leesburg and got busy.

After years of regularly attending town council meetings and having a role in several community activities, Archer is taking the next step by seeking a seat on the Leesburg Town Council.

She filed as a candidate to run in the upcoming Republican caucus to fill the vacancy created after Larry Richey resigned earlier in January.

The caucus will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Plain Township Fire Station. Deadline to file with the Republican Party chair, Mike Ragan, is 7 p.m. Saturday.

Archer’s entry into the caucus creates a two-way race as of Friday. If nobody else files, Archer will face Tyler Haines.

RELATED: Haines seeks seat on Leesburg Town Council

For several years, Archer, 66, has helped coordinate the town’s annual garage sale and the corresponding town cleanup day which focuses on big, unwanted items.

While the trash collection effort costs the town “a little bit of money,” she said she finds it worthwhile in getting rid of some big items that sometimes end up along roadsides.

Archer has also helped with veterans activities at the cemetery that is part of the Memorial Day Parade and has been the lead organizer in the annual holiday candlelaria that involves the lighting of hundred and candles along the town’s main roads.

Even though she lived out of state for two dozen years, she said she returned home each summer and, to a degree, feels like she never left.

As is the case with Haines, Archer said she’s not running because she’s upset with how the town is being run, but rather, she wants to help continue keeping the town headed on a good path.

She said she believes the town has a track record of being financially prudent while at the same time providing good services.

But that doesn’t mean there are not things she wants to help accomplish.

One issue is increasing the town’s visibility through existing tourism guides and other means. The town has a website, but she said she thinks it could be improved.

Those kinds of changes might lay the groundwork to attract more business to the town, she said.

“We certainly have other challenges, but you have to start somewhere. I think those are two steps that would not be difficult and not cost taxpayers a lot of money to do it,” she said.

She said she’s excited about the town’s progress in making the town hall and clerk-treasurer’s office handicapped accessible. Drawings for the change already exist, but she added, “I would really like to have a part in seeing these plans come to fruition.”

Another issue she would like to look into are ways to reduce the number of stray animals. While some residents allow their pet dogs and cats to run loose, the bigger problem is the number of ferrel cats and stray dogs.

The town lacks a police department, which limits enforcement of stray animal ordinances. “That’s a difficult one for the town board and it’s come up a number of times in past years,” she said.

Archer was a high school English teacher for 25 years in Rio Grande Valley in a town about five miles from the Mexican border in one of the poorest school districts in the country.

She said she considers herself to be fairly bilingual and has volunteered as a “Lunch Buddy” at Leesburg Elementary where her bilingual skills come into play with Hispanic students.

Tuesday’s caucus will be her first foray into elected office.