2019-03-13 / News

Stamford and Margaretville Village Mayors Retiring

By Michaela Mills

As the village elections approach, mayor and trustee incumbents must decide if they want to hold their board positions. After several years of service, Joan Hinman, mayor of Stamford, and Diana Cope, mayor of Margaretville, have decided to retire.

Hinman was first elected as mayor of Stamford in 2013 after the previous mayor passed away. She was the deputy mayor so was somewhat prepared to fill the seat of mayor. Hinman has been on the Stamford village board since 2002. She decided to retire this year because she felt ready for some time off after more than a decade of dedicating her life to the village of Stamford. Hinman still plans to work, but less hours in order to enjoy more leisure time.

“My favorite part about being mayor was meeting all of the wonderful residents,” said Hinman. “Although there were complaints, through teamwork we worked out our problems. I felt Stamford ran smoothly while I served my term. I want to thank everyone who has helped me through the years. There really have been a lot of people.”

Cope has served the village of Margaretville as mayor since 2012. Before becoming mayor, Cope was the director at the Fairview Public Library in Margaretville.

Cope said after a flood in 2012, “there was a divisiveness among some villagers as to how to proceed with recovery, which resulted in a rather hostile atmosphere. When I saw that one of those hostile people was the only one running for mayor, I decided to run to facilitate a healing time so we could move forward.”

Cope has decided to retire for a few reasons: she believes officials should have a limit in the number of terms they can serve because it ensures the official performs their responsibilities better, her original reason to run for mayor was a success as Margaretville has “healed and is fiscally healthy,” - and she has ten grandchildren with which she would like to spend more time.

Cope plans to continue working at the Fairview Public Library after her retirement and hopes to hike more and learn to play the drums.

Some of Cope’s fondest memories of being the mayor of Margaretville was performing marriage ceremonies and empowering her staff and board.

“Our staff works very hard,” said Cope. “One of my most enjoyable moments was when the board took a firm stand against the New York City Department of Environmental Protection funded flood buy out. John Van Benschoten and Dave Budin worked with me to let them know, we will not lay down. Doesn’t get much better than that. I really enjoy my time in the office - you get to participate in humanity.”

Both Hinman and Cope have spent multiple years dedicated to their villages and communities, and now plan to spend their retirement with more time for themselves and their families.

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