There were rounds of laughter as candidates made light of themselves, at times, and respectful quiet as questions were answered.
“How would you characterize how you see our town?” Mack asked one of the questions.
“The town is beginning to come alive again,” Shalton said, naming a ration of new prospects with a health clinic, a hydroelectric plant and a new sewer system approaching planning stages.
“I think we have a very stable and vital community.”
Balzac said Jay is a place “with neighbors and friends you can count on.”
And he outlined the economic challenge ahead: “We’ve got some empty storefronts, and Holy Name School closed recently after 100 years in operation.”
Depo said the community has come a long way since Irene.
“But there is still work to do. With FEMA buyouts coming, we have to rebuild the tax base. But I think the plan with Rebuild New York is on the right track.”
WORKING OUT ISSUES
Candidates for Town Council were also asked if they ever worked on a team that had disagreements. And, the question followed, how do you work them out?
“On every town board meeting, we have our differences,” Shalton answered. “We always come to a conclusion and focus on the common ground.”
Balzac said he always strives for open dialogue with respect for differing views.
“And I encourage consensus. Even the idea of having disagreements in public is productive … debate can be a good thing.”
Depot pondered, then spoke slowly.
“The town board,” he mused. “We set there; we have differences. We set there; we talk them out. It’s healthy. We all learn from one another that way.”
Email Kim Smith Dedam: email@example.com