PERU Twelve months ago, Bob Cronin wasnt involved in politics. Today hes the chairman of the Peru Democratic Party, with high hopes of developing a more influential party in the Republican-dominated Town of Peru. Mr. Cronin decided to get involved in politics because of the towns well-publicized political turmoil. What you heard around Peru was that things in town government were not running smoothly, he explained. He ran for the town board in last falls election and, while he wasnt successful, Mr. Cronin stated hes happy fellow Democrat Brandy McDonald was elected to the board. We knew it would be hard to get both Brandy and me elected, Mr. Cronin said. We wanted to get new leadership in there. It just wasnt working right. Mr. Cronin succeeds June Levenson as the Democratic Party chairperson. Ms. Levenson resigned last November for personal reasons. Bob Cronin grew up in Ossining and graduated from the University of Dubuque in Iowa, with a degree in history. After graduation, he joined the New York State Police and, following a brief assignment in Canton, he transferred to Plattsburgh in 1978. His state police career was highlighted by 17 years as a member of the troopers mobile response team. After retirement, he worked for four years at the Clinton County Airport for the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Cronin and his wife, Darby, have one son, Nicholas, who is a junior at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Mr. Cronin said he attends town board meetings regularly because he wants to keep people informed about the town boards actions and issues. He says hes going to attempt to get more Peru residents to attend the meetings. Hes also concerned about the number of registered voters saying, Well be trying to get young people registered when they are ready to vote. Mr. Cronin realizes Peru Democrats have to raise more money than they have in the past. When he took over leadership, the party had less than $100 in its treasury. Hes already appointed a fundraising committee chairman with aspirations of being better able to assist future candidates. This fall, the highway superintendents position will be voted on to complete the term of office of Robert Timmons, who recently resigned. In 2009, two town justice positions, the town supervisor, the town clerk-tax collector, two town council positions, and the highway superintendent position will be on the ballot. While Mr. Cronin is new to the political scene, he appears to be enjoying what hes doing. Im learning more at every meeting. Im learning from the experience of others, he said. Im retired and I have the time. One of his other goals is to get more Democrats to attend the partys monthly meetings on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the St. Augustines Parish center. Mr. Cronin may be reached via e-mail at
. The party also has an e-mail address at
. Meeting reminders and other news will be emailed to interested persons, if requested.