For Village Trustee: Russell Lura [Link to Supporting Letters]
Russ is originally from Iowa. He received a BA from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and a MS from Oklahoma State University. After college, he joined the Peace Corps, serving in Tanzania. The training was at Syracuse University, and that’s how he ended up in central New York. He eventually returned to SU and received a Ph.D. in Geography.
His family - wife, Sally, daughter Jessica, and son Christopher - moved to Hamilton in 1981. Until her retirement, Sally was an English teacher in Hamilton, and both of their children graduated from Hamilton Central School.
Russ is currently retired. He was the Planning director for Madison County for 21 years. Following that, he was appointed the first full-time administrator for the County serving as Assistant to the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for three years. He was also the County’s Budget Officer for two years and responsible for the development of the County’s $110,000,000 budget; during each of those years, the County reduced both its tax levy and its tax rate.
As Planning Director, Russ was responsible for economic development, housing and community development, and planning and zoning. He helped secure funding for the Hamilton Airport, as well as funding for the Canastota Industrial Park, the Trush Park in Cazenovia, the City of Oneida Business Park, and the Town of Sullivan Business Park. He also developed and administered Madison County’s Economic Development Revolving Loan Program.
In housing, Russ developed and administered the County’s first-time homebuyers program that, together with the Community Action Partnership, has to date assisted over 325 Madison County families purchase homes. Other notable community development projects in which he was involved include Madison Transit, Crouse Community Center in Morrisville, Community Memorial Health Center in Cazenovia, and Nelson Farms.
In planning and zoning, Russ worked with virtually every community in the County on the development or revision of their zoning and subdivision laws, including both the Town and Village of Hamilton. In the early 1990s, he was on the Master Plan and Zoning Committee that rewrote the Village of Hamilton’s Comprehensive Master Plan and zoning regulations.
Russ currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Madison County Industrial Development Agency and is the President of the Board of the Madison Lane Senior Homes. He has served previously on the Community Action Partnership Board, the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, and the Central New York Regional Market Authority in Syracuse. He and Sally are also volunteers at the Hamilton Food Cupboard.
Russ and Sally live on Hamilton Street, and he is an unaffiliated/independent voter.