Press-Republican

July 28, 2013

Chazy supervisor won't run

By CHRIS FASOLINO, Contributing Writer
Press-Republican

---- — CHAZY — The town supervisor here won’t run for re-election this year.

“It’s time,” said Staub Spiegel of his decision.

Town Clerk/Tax Collector Leo Oliver, who took office in 1990, won’t toss his hat in the ring either.

“Putting in 24 years, that’s enough,” he said. “Plus, I enjoy my grandchildren (who live in New Jersey.)”

BIG LEARNING CURVE

Those are just two changes coming to Chazy government with the close of 2013.

The recent death of longtime Councilor Donald Trombly leaves a vacancy that the Town Council opted not to fill, as the term expires Dec. 31. And so a four-year term will be up for vote in November.

And a two-year unexpired term for another council position is up for grabs, too, as well as a four-year term for the seat held now by Cathy Devins.

She is running for re-election, but should she not be returned to office, that would leave only Councilor Jerry Deno (D) a veteran on the council.

His seat isn’t up this year.

“Between the town clerk, myself and the council positions, there could be some big changes,” Spiegel said.

He expressed optimism about those changes.

“There are some good candidates. 

“It’s going to be a big learning curve for them, but I’m sure they’ll do fine.”

REMODELED TOWN HALL

Spiegel, a Democrat, will have served for eight years as supervisor when his job ends Dec. 31; he was a town councilor prior to that.

And along with his political career, he has juggled other responsibilities. 

A sales executive for Northern Insuring, he said, “I’ll be able to give them an eight-hour day instead of trying to fit an eight-hour day into a four-hour day.”

Spiegel, 52, also owns several businesses along with his wife, Angela, including the Emory House in Morrisonville — a senior citizens residence — and some rental properties. 

He believes that he looks back on a period of accomplishments. 

“In eight years, you can do a lot.”

Supervisor Spiegel cited the construction of a new town vault and a new salt storage building at the highway garage, as well as the centralization of the computer system.

“We remodeled the whole Town Hall and made the atmosphere there a lot better,” he added.

Regardless of those upgrades and more to other town buildings and infrastructure, Spiegel said, “at the same time, we kept the town in strong financial shape. 

“We had a tough year budgeting last year with the transition of the Pfizer building and loss of its tax revenue,” he continued.

The facility, which not so long ago had employed more than 300 workers, was shut down and then, in 2012, turned over to Clinton Industrial Development Acquisition with a grant funding maintenance and marketing. Tax abatement accompanied the move, but last spring Victor and Stephen Podd of Northstar Private Capital LLC inked a deal to buy the property.

The town looks forward to its return to the tax rolls, Spiegel said.

‘A GOOD TEAM’

Spiegel expressed appreciation for those with whom he serves.

“I was very fortunate to work with a great board, who worked very well with each other as a team. I also was very lucky to have a great secretary (Susan Patnode), who was very easy to work with and kept me constantly updated when needed.

“It was a pleasure to work with a great town clerk, Leo Oliver.”

CONTENDED SEATS

Devins, a Republican, is running for re-election to her seat on the council; other candidates for the two four-year posts are Republican Willie Giroux and Democrats Timothy Collins and Martin Bouchard.

The two who garner the most votes will win the seats.

Richard West was appointed to the other position up for vote after incumbent Christopher Latremore was elected to a town justice post. West is not running, however. 

Instead, the race for the two-year position is between Joyce Samonek and Dan Vesco. 

Samonek is a Democrat; Vesco is a registered Republican, but he is running as an independent because he signed on as a candidate after the Republican caucus was held.

Republican Mark Henry has thrown his hat in the ring for the supervisor’s post. He is unopposed.

And Phil Beauharnois, running on the Democrat ticket, is the sole candidate for the clerk/tax collector seat.

‘LEARNED A LOT’

As supervisor, Spiegel said, “I learned a lot, and I enjoyed it. But it’s just time to slow down.

“I think it’s good to have new blood and new ideas. It’s time to let somebody else see what they can do.”