Press-Republican

November 4, 2013

Many races in Clinton County

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Press-Republican

---- — CLINTON COUNTY 

LEGISLATURE

 

AREA 4

GERARD RENADETTE

Age: 59.

Party: Republican, Conservative.

Education: Graduate, Beekmantown Central; graduate, Canton ATC in electrical construction and maintenance.

Occupation: Retired 28 years, New York State Department of Corrections.

Previous government experience: 17 years, Plattsburgh Town Council.

Civic organizations: Active member, Roman Catholic Community of St. Alexander's and St. Joseph's.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing the county right now, and what will you do about it?

"The area's brain drain and our community growth and improvement. With two universities in our community, we need to take a look at ways to keep those graduates and our youths in the area and not flee.

"I believe the way to do this is to encourage growth, both recreationally and economically, to enhance the quality of life for these young educated adults. This includes growing outdoor recreational experiences, the arts and culture corridor and sprucing up our downtown area.

"The combination of improved quality of life activities as well as a trained and available work force will attract the business which will spur an economic boom."

 

COLIN READ

Age: 54.

Party: Democratic, Independence, Working Families.

Education: Ph.D. in economics; juris doctorate, law; master's in business administration.

Civic organizations: Past president, Plattsburgh Rotary; co-founder, Vision2Action and First Weekends; creator of Vision2040; president, Plattsburgh Downtown Association; director on numerous corporate and non-profit boards of directors.

What do you think the most pressing issue for the county is right now, and what would you do about it?

"As the population for Clinton County is projected to decline, we face a number of critical issues to preserve and improve our quality of life in the North Country.

"One of our most important challenges will be to attract or retain 3,000 households by 2040 in order to stem the resulting increase in taxes that would arise from a shrinking tax base.

"There are a number of things that we can do. We can recognize, celebrate and advertise the significant natural and historic assets in our region. We can also work to develop high-quality jobs that will attract and keep professionals and young families and create vibrant communities that will, in turn, attract more high-quality professions.

"I am confident we can meet these challenges if we elect representatives who can best help to create the ideas and environment that will expand our tax base and attract new jobs and households to our region."

 

AREA 6

PATTY WALDRON

Age: 49.

Party: Democrat.

Occupation: Owner and operator of Koffee Kat in downtown Plattsburgh for the past 16 years; spent 10 years as dental assistant at Clinton Correctional Facility.

Education: Associate's degree, Clinton Community College; bachelor's degree in social science, Empire State College.

Previous government experience: Democratic Committee, representing the Town of Saranac for two years.

Civic organizations: Behavioral Health Services North Board of Directors, about two years.

What do you think is the most pressing issue in the county right now, and what would you do about it?

"One of the most pressing issues in Clinton County is the hardship families are experiencing with keeping up with the rising cost of everything. Fuel prices and the hardships that come with trying to heat their homes, paying their mortgage, rising taxes, health-care costs, day care and the basic trials of maintaining daily life in counties across the nation.

"I would be helpful in trying to create and keep good-paying jobs in the county. I would like to hire our local contractors to develop major projects within the county and stop going out of state for laborers.

"I would take a closer look at the bidding processes to make sure they are not inflated and county dollars are not wasted on non-essentials.

"I would also encourage each county department to review where dollars might be wasted and find a way to stop the bleeding without losing jobs."

 

JOHN C. BERNARDI

Age: 47.

Party: Republican, Independence.

Occupation: Community and human services; executive director, United Way of the Adirondack Region.

Education: Bachelor's degree in community and human services, Empire State College; associate's degree in ecology and environmental technology, Paul Smith's College.

Previous government experience: 25 years of North Country experience working closely with local, state and federal government within the health and human service field.

Civic organizations: North Country Workforce Investment Board; Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; CVPH Board of Directors; Plattsburgh Rotary Board of Directors; Long-Term Disaster Recovery Group, Adirondack Health Institute; numerous other committees and task forces focused on addressing community-based initiatives, challenges and priorities.

What do you see as the most pressing issue in the county right now, and what would you do about it?

"The most pressing issue that Clinton County faces right now is balancing our unique quality of life with the need for economic growth.

"I would seek to continue initiatives that create jobs, recreational and cultural opportunities that would allow young people and families to either stay in our area or relocate to our area, while maintaining the delicate balance between quality-of-life issues and economic opportunities.

"Clinton County is a great place to live, work and raise families. We need to develop long-term strategies that position us to capitalize on our many assets and address future challenges."

 

AREA 8

ROBERT E. DOLAN

Age: 68.

Party: Democratic.

Occupation: Retired social studies teacher.

Education: Bachelor's degree from SUNY Plattsburgh; 45 graduate hours.

Previous government experience: Taught government and economics.

Military service: Six years, 50th Armor Division National Guard.

Civic organizations: Life member, Post 20 American Legion; life member, Plattsburgh Elks Lodge 621; member, CVCR Retired Teachers; member Classic Cruisers.

What do you see as the most pressing issue in the county right now and what would you do about it?

"The most pressing issue for Clinton County government is how to maintain the present level of services to Clinton County residents while dealing with ever-increasing costs. Possible solutions include finding areas where we can share services, reduce waste and improve efficiency."

 

MARK DAME

Age: 61.

Party: Republican, Independence, Conservative.

Occupation: Lifelong owner and operator of small businesses in Clinton County; currently co-owner and operator of Dame Motor sports in Plattsburgh.

Education: Attended Our Lady of Victory Academy and graduated from St. Johns Academy; graduate of Clinton Community College; bachelor's degree, SUNY Plattsburgh.

Previous government experience: Current Clinton County legislator; Plattsburgh City Common Council, 1990 to 1994; former chairman and vice chairman, City of Plattsburgh Republican Committee.

What do you see as the most pressing issue in the county right now, and what would you do about it?

"I was fortunate to have been selected by the voters as Clinton County legislator for Area 8 two years ago. Due to a reconfiguration of the election terms, my current term as legislator has been an abbreviated one. I would be honored to serve the residents of Clinton County further; I feel there is still work to be done. With an upward movement in the county, I would like the opportunity to continue to serve with knowledge, experience and a watchful financial eye.

"The issues facing Clinton County right now are the same issues that local governments across the nation are confronted with; determining the services which bests serves the needs of the majority of the residents while maintaining a budget which is tolerable to the contributors: the taxpayers. The real question is: What is going to be done, and which candidate can provide specific solutions with a proven track record?

"During my service over the past 22 months, I have fought for the taxpayers. I spearheaded the change in a county policy, which allows distressed taxpayers the opportunity to pay past due taxes up to the last realistic moment before foreclosure. This policy change is at no expense to other taxpayers and is the moral thing to do. I will continue to seek creative solutions for all residents of Clinton County.

"I have argued against property-tax increases, advocating for the use of the increased sales-tax revenue to offset any rise in property tax. I refuse to let that windfall become an excuse for easy spending. I will continue this battle as the budget is developed for the coming year.

"I have respected residents' tax dollars by carefully scrutinizing each expenditure and aggressively disputed and voted against suspect spending. I will continue to be out spoken while defending each dollar spent on the taxpayers’ behalf.

"I have favored common-sense investments as evidenced in my support of Clinton Community College, as I believe access to quality, affordable education is critical to the sustainability of a community. I will continue to promote affordable education.

"I voted yes on the expansion of the Plattsburgh International Airport, but only under the condition that the expansion be funded by fees collected from the patrons of the airport and not the entire body of county residents. I will continue to advocate growth when a return on the investment can be realized.

"With 100 percent attendance record at all legislative meetings I have served as a dedicated representative of Area 8 and Clinton County as a whole. I believe I am the most qualified, proven candidate in Area 8 to best prioritize the services which meet the needs of the majority of the residents while maintaining a budget which is tolerable and fair to all taxpayers."

 

AREA 10

ROBERT E. HALL SR.

Age: 69.

Party: Democrat.

Occupation: Business owner. 

Education: High-school diploma. 

Previous government experience: Eight years as a City of Plattsburgh councilor. 

Military service: U.S. Army, 1959 to 1961, during the Cuban missile crisis.

Civic organizations: Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks for 39 years; American Legion for 36 years, Moose Lodge. 

What do you see as the most pressing issue in the county right now, and what would you do about it? 

"The biggest issue is expanding the Plattsburgh International Airport, and with growth, it will draw a major industry to our area that will have good-paying jobs for our residents. I will do my best to coordinate the city, the town and county to work together so that this can be accomplished."

 

RICK PERRY

Age: 57.

Party: Republican.

Occupation: Retired from City of Plattsburgh in 2012, presently a real-estate agent at Fesette Realty.

Education: Mount Assumption Institute, New York state code certified, New York Planning Federation, Fire Team USA.

Previous government experience: Worked 24 years with the City of Plattsburgh, retired as the administrator of the Building and Zoning Department. 

Civic organizations: Clinton County Strategic Tourism Committee; a team leader of the American Heart Association; MS Society walk organizer; past president of Plattsburgh Youth Hockey; Board of Directors of Little League, Babe Ruth, PAL football; founding president of Plattsburgh North Stars; founding member, Saranac River Trail; Waterfront Redevelopment Committee; active participant of the USO, Wounded Warrior Project and Take a Soldier Fishing.

What do you see as the most pressing issue in the county right now, and what would you do about it?

"If I had to choose one issue to talk about briefly, I would say jobs and taxes, but the answer is much more complex. I propose we employ a regional development strategy. This strategy would be a comprehensive examination of various aspects of our region that contribute to a successful business environment, making our region attractive for profitability. These include job creation and a healthy tax base. Successful businesses seek a knowledgeable employee pool; we need to maintain our support of job training and education system, while we adjust to the market needs. We need to examine and capitalize on our regional features that attracted successful businesses like Nova Bus and Bombardier. Features that include but are not limited to quality suppliers, means of distribution, affordability and an ability to grow are essential to a thriving region. We need to maintain an attractive arts and cultural community; the Arts Council and the Strand rehabilitation project are good examples of regional pride, a showcase of regional talent and contribute a high quality of life.

"I’ve cited some examples of the content of a successful development strategy, but other features of our community need to be included, such as quality health care, community planning, information technology and infrastructure. We need to immediately focus our attention on retaining and growing our present business and industry employers. My background and experience qualifies me to lead successful regional growth. Let’s keep our families living local; support responsible and proven leadership."

 

CLINTON COUNTY TREASURER

 

KIMBERLY A. DAVIS

Age: 39.

Party: Democratic; also endorsed by the Working Families and Independence parties.

Education: Bachelor's degrees in business and philosophy with a minor in accounting, SUNY Plattsburgh.

Occupation: Resigned as the Cornelia Street branch manager of Glens Falls National Bank to run for treasurer.

Previous government experience: Former Town of East Hampton, Long Island, assessor, two years.

Civic organizations: President, Plattsburgh Noon Kiwanis Club; chair of PR communications/marketing and division coordinator for the Eliminate Project, New York District of Kiwanis International; coach/mentor, Team in Training program of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; member, Adirondack Young Professionals; platelet and blood donor, North Country Regional Blood Center. 

What are your thoughts on Clinton County’s tax foreclosure process?

"The Treasurer’s Office does a good job adhering to the laws regarding foreclosure. Dozens of letters are sent to owners to make sure that they are aware that they are in arrears."

Still, she noted, some people have difficulty paying their taxes, while others "would rather pay a penalty to hold on to their money longer.

"My concern is with those who may not have the financial awareness of their options.

"As a former bank manager, I would reach out to those people to make sure that they are aware of what they can do to save their property."

People are given two years to pay their taxes before foreclosure, Davis said, and in that time, it is the treasurer's duty to do everything possible to allow those taxes to be paid before the property is sold at auction.

How would you address the issue with the Ganienkeh Mohawks purchasing land in Altona and not paying taxes on it?

"The Turtle Island Trust, which holds the lands for the Mohawks, was created for a specific area of land. Any additional land purchased by the Mohawks is not part of that original agreement and should be taxed."

When she ran for Clinton County treasurer six years ago, Davis noted, she advocated for such taxation.

"The county has foreclosed on the additional properties, an appeal was filed by the Mohawks, and it will now be settled in the courts."

How is the county prepared to handle the expense of the upcoming $54 million airport expansion project?

"The airport expansion will be paid for by passengers, not the taxpayers. Each ticket sold will have a charge added to it to pay for the expansion."

She applauded the county legislators for their vision to expand the airport, which, she noted, has grown tremendously since it opened.

"As we develop the area around the airport, which may include a hotel, these people will stay here, spend money here, and our sales-tax revenue will grow."

 

SUSAN POLHEMUS

Party: Republican.

Age: 54.

Education: Associate degree in business and accounting, Clinton Community College; bachelor's degree in management science, Nazareth College.

Occupation: Former accounting manager, Lake Champlain Transportation Co.

Previous government experience: Peru Town Council, 2010 to 2013.

Civic organizations: Member, Clinton County and Peru Republican Party committees; volunteer, North Country Mission of Hope; member, American Heart Association. 

Family: Husband, Kirk; two children, Mary and Benjamin.  

 

What are your thoughts on Clinton County’s tax foreclosure process?

"Nobody wants someone to lose their property."

Polhemus said the County Legislature has put together the laws and policies regarding tax foreclosure, and property owners have a number of options available to them when it comes to paying their taxes.

"It is important for the treasurer to have continuous communication with property owners so they know what the options are."

Some people, she added, feel the county is making too much money on property sales, an issue Clinton County Legislator Mark Dame has asked the legislature to look into in the past year.

How would you address the issue with the Ganienkeh Mohawks purchasing land in Altona and not paying taxes on it?

According to Polhemus, the town assessor determines the value of the Ganienkeh Mohawks' property, and the property taxes are sent out, just as they would be for any other property owner.

"The issue isn't Ganienkeh Mohawks purchasing land; the issue is the land they already own and not paying taxes.

"The current treasurer has followed every procedure he is legally able to collect the taxes."

If the courts determine the county can collect taxes on Ganienkeh properties, Polhemus added, it will be the county treasurer's duty to due so in accordance with the legislators' laws and policies.

How is the county prepared to handle the expense of the upcoming $54 million airport expansion project?

The county is in a great position with the airport, according to Polhemus, and will take out a bond to cover the expansion.

It will come at no expense to taxpayers, she explained, because the cost of the bond and regular airport maintenance are covered by three fees the county collects from usage of the airport.

"The treasurer's only responsibility concerning the airport is making sure the bond payments are made."

 

OTHER RACES

Legislature Area 2: Jonathan C. Beach (R, C).

District Attorney: Andrew Wylie (D, WF).

 

CITY OF PLATTSBURGH

MAYOR

 

CHRIS ROSENQUEST

Age: 38.

Party: Independent (Plattsburgh Renewal Party).

Occupation: Technology manager/entrepreneur.

Education: Associate's degree in humanities and social science, Clinton Community College, bachelor's degree in English, SUNY Plattsburgh; master's of business administration, University of Washington.

Civic organizations: First Weekends volunteer, Adirondack Young Professionals, Lumber Jills.

What do you see as the most pressing issue in the city right now and what would you do about it?

"The most pressing issue I see our city facing is our budget and our ability to generate revenue outside of increasing the tax rate or cost of services.

"My Community and Economic Development Plan outlines numerous actions I'll take to address these issues, including:

"1. Job creation: I will work with regional municipalities, investors, local and regional businesses and our SUNY schools to identify and attract high-tech industry to our city.

"Tourism: I will utilize our waterfront and natural resources to attract and retain visitors. I will also work directly with community groups to outline and create a yearly festival/events schedule.

"Housing: I will lower the tax rate and also find opportunities for land-reuse and responsible development so all families and retirees on fixed incomes can afford to live here."

How would you ensure that city workers are given fair treatment and be able to maintain all of the city services without exceeding the state-mandated tax cap?

"I will bring partnership and professionalism to the table to solve our city's issues and do it in a way that's fiscally responsible and realistic with the city's current financial situation. I believe in treating my employees respectfully and professionally and will approach all city employees and managers with mutual respect, transparency and open communication. I will bring all of our city workers and city managers into the fold to fulfill on what's possible for Plattsburgh. Having an empowered workforce, whether public or private, is essential to a smooth-running organization, and that's what I'll create.

"I will leverage my vast experience and success in business and technology management to appropriately implement technical, software and business process solutions to deliver our government services more effectively in both time and cost.

"I will also utilize the vast knowledge and expertise of our city workers and managers to identify and implement a shared-service model across departments as well as regional municipalities. Like other government entities and private organizations, I will implement an incentive program to reward city workers and departments who identify and implement cost-saving efforts."

What are your thoughts on the city switching to a city manager form of government?

"I'm open to this research and from day one have included revisiting our City Charter to bring it up to speed with current day needs. There is more research to be done before making a move to a city manager, and I will want to ensure a city manager form of government would be the most appropriate move for a municipality the size and density of Plattsburgh. It's important to ensure a switch this significant is in line with wants and expectations of the voters and doesn't sacrifice the quality of services or ability for our city to run smoothly."

 

MARK TIFFER

Age: 29.

Party: Democratic, Working Families.

Occupation: Safety supervisor, United Parcel Service.

Education: Bachelor's in business administration.

Previous government experience: City councilor Ward 2, City of Plattsburgh Planning Board.

Civic organizations: City of Plattsburgh Green Committee; City of Plattsburgh Democrats, treasurer.

What do you see as the most pressing issue in the city right now, and what would you do about it?

"Resolving our labor issues and open contracts with our city workers is the most pressing issue. There are four unions that have been left without a contract. Retroactive pay and compensation will have a dramatic impact on the economic viability of our community and the upcoming budget. As mayor, I will clean up this unfinished business before we move on to planning for our future. It is critical to create a strong economic foundation to build on and move forward.

"We must also implement a strong and effective labor-management policy. There is no reason to spend so much money on litigation and labor disputes. Management and union representatives need to work together and communicate to solve these issues in-house."

How would you ensure that city workers are given fair treatment and be able to maintain all of the city services without exceeding the state-mandated tax cap?

"I think it is important to negotiate in good faith and be willing to communicate and collaborate with our union representatives. Our workers have to be part of the solution instead of being the problem. Privacy and respect must be shown to our workers, we should not be negotiating through the media. It was completely irresponsible to allow four of our unions to go without a contract. This is going to make it very difficult to maintain the service level and remain within the tax cap. However, I do believe through identifying inefficiencies and utilizing the knowledge of our workers and department heads, we can find areas of savings.

"The city must also identify opportunities for new revenue streams. We are too reliant on our homeowners for the tax base. We have to find new ways to bring revenue into the city. Expanding on our arts and culture and integrating that with our tourism could be the key to solving this revenue dilemma."

What are your thoughts on the city switching to a city manager form of government?

"The city-manager structure is too often viewed as a panacea. There are benefits and drawbacks to every government structure. The issues facing our community are not due to a lack of qualified individuals seeking elected positions. Much of the issues stem from a lack of planning and cooperation.

"Increasing the size of our bureaucracy isn't going to improve that. In fact, our city would be adding a position with a six-figure salary and a binding contract. This individual would be from out of the area and would have little knowledge of the inner workings of our city. The city manager will not be accountable to our taxpayers and will very likely have little commitment to our community. In fact, the very appointment of a city manager could become political and detrimental to our community. Just look at what recently occurred at the Plattsburgh Housing Authority earlier this year.

"With all that being said, I am a servant to the public. I represent their views and their voices. If the residents of our community want to look into changing our City Charter, I would be obliged to accept and comply with this demand."

 

JIM CALNON

Age: 64.

Party: Independent, endorsed by Republican and Independence parties.

Occupation: Retired and city councilor.

Education: Bachelor's degree from SUNY Plattsburgh.

Previous government experience: 30 years Public Workforce System, retired as executive director of the Workforce Investment Board.

What do you see as the most pressing issue in the city right now and what would you do about it?

"The first responsibility is to provide the essential city services at an affordable rate; if we don't watch the money, then all of our other efforts will be fruitless. If we allow the tax rate to escalate, we will start a downward spiral, rather than the upward one that we all desire. To do that, I will continue the work that I have done as councilor for the last six and a half years. The slowly improving economy will allow us to accelerate our investment in efficiency and will allow us to further control our taxes. Collaboration with surrounding municipalities will maximize all of our efforts. With the money under control, we will have a very good idea of what we have available to invest for our future — our second most pressing issue."

How would you ensure that city workers are given fair treatment and be able to maintain all of the city services without exceeding the state-mandated tax cap?

"I believe that our bargaining units will need to adhere to the same kind of cap that our taxes must. The ceiling for raises in my negotiations will be the tax-cap percentage; it is important for everyone to be on that level playing field. In addition to that, if the team of management and union can find ways to save money for the taxpayers, then I would be happy to share the savings with both workers and taxpayers. The mayor negotiates with the people that work for the city; they are friends and neighbors. The union negotiates with the taxpayers, more friends and neighbors, through the mayor. It is a person talking to a person — negotiation must take place at the table, not in the press."

What are your thoughts on the city switching to a city manager form of government?

"First of all, let me say that I am willing to serve in whatever kind of government our voters want — it is not mine to decide. I am in favor of the increased stability in negotiations, policy, management selection and supervision that a city manager would provide. I would hope that a city manager would provide the longer-term planning and execution that would help stabilize taxes and employee and inter-municipal relationships. On the other hand, I am concerned about the cost of a city manager; it will be more expensive than our current arrangement, and I am certain that it would be no less political an office than we have now. The other downside that I see is that the voters would be one step further away from a major decision maker in the city. The manager would be appointed by the council that was elected, usually for a fixed term. In the 'strong mayor' government that we have now, the voters get to directly choose their leader every three years. The city has had a number of Charter Commissions over the past few decades that have looked into the city manager option; I would be in favor of doing so again, so that the choices are fully explored and presented to the voters."

 

 

COMMON COUNCIL

WARD 1

RACHELLE C. ARMSTRONG

Age: 64.

Party: Democrat, Working Families.

Occupation: Retired secondary English teacher.

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts.

Civic organizations: Family Promise volunteer coordinator; Community Meal volunteer; North Country Food Co-op Board of Directors; Downtown Business and Visitors Association secretary and liaison.

What do you see as the most pressing issue the city is facing right now and what would you do about it?

"It’s difficult to isolate one pressing issue because the challenges we face are interconnected. A decline in revenue sharing, particularly over the last five years, has put pressure on our city budget. The challenge is to maintain valuable services so that people want to live here, while keeping taxes low. Both short-term and long-term solutions are needed. Efficiency is key to holding costs down. Exploring the New York State Local Government Efficiency Program can help with this. Long-term, we need to broaden Plattsburgh’s revenue base through sustainable and responsible development. To achieve this goal, I will be a strong advocate for strategic planning informed by research and input from diverse community stakeholders. I will also work to fully restore the Community Development Office so that we are better able to procure grants and attract investment to our city."

 

WILLIAM 'BILL' FERRIS

Age: 52.

Party: Republican.

Occupation: Self employed/owner Big Apple Audio.

Education: Associate degree in business administration.

Previous government experience: City Planning Board member.

Civic organizations: Gideons International member; Salvation Army Advisory Board chairman; Plattsburgh First Assembly of God Board member and secretary.

What do you see as the most pressing issue in the city right now, and what would you do about it?

"The biggest issue I see in the city are the expenses that the city has no control over. For example, the exploding cost of retirement and health insurance expenses. The total benefits for the city is 25 percent of the city budget; that's a big number. That percentage portion of the city budget is difficult to control.

"On top of that, the city has a state mandated tax cap of no more than a 2 percent increase in the tax levy per year. This is a double-edge sword. First, it stifles the city to be able to raise funds, but more importantly, it makes local government live within a 'budget,' which protects its citizens from 'government gone wild.'

"This will be a difficult process to go through; there will be give and take, business as usual will not be on the table. We will need creative ideas to keep all of our city services at the current levels of excellence while staying within our budgetary constraints.

"This will be accomplished in many ways: Through honest and respectful contract negotiations with the city unions; looking for more cost-effective insurance options; looking for additional income streams that the city is not utilizing, waterfront development for example; local business-friendly environment to increase sales-tax revenue for the city; exploring options to make city government more streamlined and efficient, possible shared services with the Town of Plattsburgh, for example."

 

MAUREEN CARLO

Age: 42.

Party: Independent, Plattsburgh Matters Party.

Occupation: Technology, marketing and communications consultant, entrepreneur.

Education: Empire State College, SUNY Plattsburgh, Clinton Community College, North Country Leadership Program.

Previous government experience: As a communications consultant and security integrator, worked for years with government agencies and municipalities.

Civic organizations: Lake Country Village Homeowners Associations Board of Directors and webmaster; Depot Theatre Board of Trustees, marketing chair; Champlain Valley Business Networking International (Burlington chapter) vice president; Ambassador Committee, Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce (Burlington) and Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce (named 2012 Volunteer of the Year); North Country Cultural Center for the Arts Center Advisory Board; past member; CVPH Foundation Annual Campaign chair and Special Events Committee; Lake City Referrals BNI president; Girl Scouts Women of Distinction Committee.

What do you think is the most pressing issue in the city right now. and what would you do about it?

"It is time to be proactive, not reactive. I am an active leader who will lean in and work with passion and conviction to protect and grow Plattsburgh’s bright future. We must ensure our valuable resources are being spent wisely. Infrastructure is failing. Budget constraints are forcing departments to do more with less. It is time to maximize technology so our city can work smarter, not harder. We need to plan for the future. Our information-technology resources are very limited. Currently, no policies exist regarding technology; this is not effective and must change. I will work to establish a Tech Task Force and see that policies are implemented for a better working City of Plattsburgh.

"Analyzing and planning equals better spending, operation and maintenance. Our workforce and our taxpayers will benefit from this."

 

WARD 2

MIKE KELLY

Age: 60.

Party: Democrat, Working Families. 

Occupation: Information technology security and policy officer, IBM.

Education: Master's degree.

Previous government experience: Ward 2 councilor 2008 through 2011; former chair, present member, Plattsburgh City Democratic Party Committee; Clinton County Democratic Party Committee; North Country Working Families Party member.

Civic Organizations: Volunteer at Advocacy and Resource Center.

What do you think is the most pressing issue facing the city right now, and what would you do about it?

"Plattsburgh has no long-term plans for growth and sustainability. Property taxes become more crushing for homeowners each year because we lack alternatives for revenue. Until a solid growth plan is devised and implemented, this situation is only going to get worse. If elected to City Council, I will work hard to develop this plan and help implement it. I will work tirelessly with local businesses and citizens who are energetic and hopeful about the future of our wonderful city. Our city and our region have the potential to become one of New York's destination locations."

 

MIKE DREW

Age: 45.

Party: Republican, Independence.

Occupation: Teacher for the past six years, formerly owner of Lake City Skate for 13 years.

Education: Attended SUNY Brockport, SUNY Geneseo, Clinton Community, Cazenovia, RIT and SUNY Oswego.

Previous government experience: Six years on the City Council, five years as mayor pro tem, one year as council clerk, interim mayor for five months, four years on Recreation Advisory Board, two years on Lake City Local Development Corporation and a member of the Health Insurance Task Force.

Civic organizations: Three-time participant with North Country Mission of Hope.

What do you see as the most pressing issue in the city right now, and what would you do about it?

"The most pressing issue by far is the budget. I think the current administration has done a good job, however I am concerned about using so much of our fund balance in the proposed 2014 budget. My No. 1 priority will be to immerse myself in the proposed budget and the budget process. I will work diligently with the current mayor and council, the new mayor and council, department heads and the city's unions to find solutions in these difficult economic times. I will utilize my five years of experience as the city's budget officer to help bring forth the best possible budget. I believe that, long term, we should be looking at smart development to bring additional revenue to Plattsburgh. I also think cooperation with the (Town of Plattsburgh) and county is another key component to our ultimate success. In the past, I worked to get the county involved to help our city fund Lake Champlain fishing tournaments that bring millions to the local economy. They recognized the economic value to our region as a whole. As interim mayor, I signed a long-term water and sewer deal with the Town of Plattsburgh that was economical for them and ensured a long-term revenue stream to the City of Plattsburgh. These are the kinds of joint efforts that we should continue to work towards to minimize the burden on local taxpayers."

 

WARD 3

DALE DOWDLE

Age: 59

Party: Republican.

Occupation: Retired New York State parole officer.

Education: Bachelor of Science in management of human resources.

Previous government experience: 10 years as member of the Plattsburgh City School Board.

Civic organizations: Presently eight-year planning board member, previous Lion's Club member, Battle of Plattsburgh volunteer.

What do you think is the most pressing issue in the city right now, and what would you do about it?

"While difficult to single out the most pressing issue, a foremost issue must remain maintaining a quality of life that is supported by continuing a stable tax rate. By doing so, the city will remain attractive to both the present and future populations as well as attracting business growth. By working with the council and mayor, I hope that together we can explore additional sources of revenues. While some areas of development are limited due to lack of available land, what we have available can be maximized with thoughtful and careful planning. Tourism is a growing industry. Presently the Adirondack Scenic Coast, Vision2Action, arts-corridor and airport expansion are but a few venues that are growing and will enhance our city economically."

 

JUSTIN R. MEYER

Age: 32.

Party: Democrat.

Occupation: Attorney.

Education: Juris Doctor from Albany Law School in 2006, Bachelor of Science from Elmira College in 2003.

Civic organizations: Second vice president of North Country Cultural Center for the Arts; treasurer, Clinton County Bar Association.

What do you think is the most pressing issue in the city right now, and what would you do about it?

"The City of Plattsburgh is facing a number of challenges. I believe that the most pressing issue is the management of the city's resources. I would encourage the mayor and Common Council to mend relationships with city departments and work together along with management and community members to review current practices. By thoughtfully placing city resources where they are needed and will do the most good, the city can establish a more efficient operation. This will lead to more and better quality services being provided to residents without increasing costs."

 

WARD 4

PETER ENSEL

Party: Republican, Independence.

Age: 55.

Education: Bachelor's degree, SUNY Plattsburgh; master's degree, Boston University.

Occupation: Associate professor of communication, SUNY Plattsburgh; will be chair of the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management beginning January 2014.

Previous government experience: Chairman, City of Plattsburgh Redistricting Committee.

Civic organizations: board member, North Country American Red Cross; board member, Plattsburgh Rotary Club; and member, Knights of Columbus 6067.

What do you see as the most pressing issue facing the city right now, and what would you do about it?

"The City of Plattsburgh is facing many problems. Unresolved labor contracts, infrastructure issues and waterfront concerns are just a few of the issues.

"But unquestionably, the biggest problem currently facing the City of Plattsburgh is affordability. Far too many residents are being forced to move or sell their homes (and are having difficulty selling) because of the cost of living in the city.

"Rising insurance rates, retirement contributions and unfunded state mandates being passed on to municipalities only add to the problem.

"The current administration has done a good job of keeping tax increases to a minimum (as opposed to previous administrations which saw taxes nearly double) and spending under control. Now it's time for city officials to look at ways to increase revenue without burdening the taxpayer.

"The City of Plattsburgh is the historical, cultural and recreational center of the North Country. I will embrace, promote and develop these areas, which, I believe, can provide an economic stimulus to the city.

"The renovated Strand Theatre is a good start. Events at the Strand attract visitors from around the region, increasing foot traffic and revenue to downtown restaurants and businesses. As has occurred in other communities around the country, successful venues like the Strand can serve as an economic engine for downtown by spawning the opening of new restaurants, boutiques and other businesses. Events like First Weekends and celebrations such as the Battle of Plattsburgh and Mayor's Cup bring an excitement and vitality to the city. We need to build off of these events to raise interest and increase commerce.

"The city needs to also work with groups like Start-Up NY, the Strategic Tourism Committee, the Vision2Action Committee and the Chamber of Commerce to develop, promote and market the city.

"If elected, I will work cooperatively with these groups to identify development opportunities, attract new businesses, create jobs and increase city revenue. While there is no land left in the city for large development, there are still opportunities available for smaller, technology-driven businesses.

"Finally, I would look for more efficient ways for the city to operate. By examining existing vendor contracts, operational procedures and past practices (without jeopardizing existing services), cost-saving measures may be able to be identified and implemented."

 

PAUL O'CONNELL 

Age: 58.

Party: Democrat, Working Families.

Occupation: Retired from New York State Department of Corrections as a substance-abuse counselor.

Education: Associate's degree, Clinton Community College.

Previous government experience: Past president, St. Peter's School Board.

Civic organizations: North Country Mission of Hope Leadership Committee, four years; past president, Lyon Mountain Umpires Association; past president, Northern Adirondack Softball Umpires; college baseball umpire for the past 10 years; current high school baseball/softball umpire, volleyball official and girls basketball referee; high school football coach for more than 25 years.

What do you see as the most pressing issue in the city right now, and what would you do about it?

"I could say the usual, like we need to keep taxes down or we need to work on community development more, but I won't. I think that the relationship between the City of Plattsburgh's workforce and administration needs drastic improvement. Unions without contracts make for unhappy employees.

"In order to build a better relationship with the city's employees and its administration, we need to let the workers know that what they do for the city is very important. The more appreciated an employee feels the better their morale will be.

"The city and the unions need to settle their contract disputes. If the administration and city's unions work hard at doing what is best for the city, as well as its employees, it will be a win-win situation, and the relationships will improve tremendously." 

WARD 5

REBECCA KASPER

Age: 51.

Party: Democrat.

Education: Ph.D. in religious studies.

Occupation: Director, Center for Teaching Excellence, Co-director, Center for Public Service, SUNY Plattsburgh.

Civic organizations: City Democratic Party member.

What do you see as the most pressing issue in the city right now, and what would you do about it?

"Our greatest challenge is always going to be how we can strike a balance between development and responsible budget management, a balance in our government's relationship with city employees and in contract negotiations, and a balance in maintaining excellence across all city services. This requires leaders who are fair, prudent and who have the courage to involve the community in planning responsibly for the future. These are the strengths that I will bring to the council."

 

BRUCE LAWSON

Age: 63.

Party: Republican, Independence, Plattsburgh First.

Occupation: Former general sales manager, WPTZ News Channel 5.

Education: Bachelor of Science in sociology, Nasson College.

Civic organizations: United Way Board of Directors; Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Plattsburgh Board of Trustees president; Lake Champlain Basin Program Education and Outreach Advisory Committee; former board member of local American Red Cross; Palmer St. Coffeehouse Concerts; volunteer musician First Weekends; volunteer musician Strand benefit concert.

What do you think is the most pressing issue in the city right now, and what would you do about it?

"Providing a high level of essential city services and necessary improvements in infrastructure, while investing in economic growth and enhanced "quality of life" for our residents and visitors. Plattsburgh must take advantage of our waterfront location and tourism opportunities in order to grow revenues. I would build strong relationships with our businesses, charitable organizations and the arts community. We can also work closely with the town and county on areas of common interest.

"Stable tax rates are critical for future success. This will require strict budgeting and revenue growth. We must nurture the businesses and employers already here and increase tourism. Sensible waterfront development, recreation, education and the arts all matter. The City of Plattsburgh is the hub for the region, and we can be proud of it. Our future is bright."

 

WARD 6

CHRIS JACKSON

Age: 49.

Party: Experience Matters (Independent Party).

Education: Bachelor's degree in mass communication and accounting, master's degree in management.

Occupation: Facilities financial manager, SUNY Plattsburgh.

Previous government experience: Six years, City Councilor Ward 6, incumbent.

Civic organizations: Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, Campus/City Coalition. 

What do you think is the biggest issue facing the city right now and what would you do about it?

"The answer to this question is very complex because it has two parts. The first part of the issue facing the city is complying with the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap, and the second part of the issue is getting our union contracts with AFSCME (American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees), police, fire and the Municipal Lighting Department negotiated in a manner that doesn't require that we override the tax cap. This all needs to be done while providing the level of city services that residents deserve and have come to expect. It is imperative to get this done so that we are able to plan for the future. Long-term planning can't happen without knowing what your long-term expenses are.

"We need an open and honest dialog with the unions and their leadership so we can explain the impacts that contractual raises have on the budget. We can work with employees to find efficiencies or cost savings. We need to build a team approach in order to keep the city affordable, especially for our seniors and young people just starting out." 

 

JAMES R. A. WEMETTE

Age: 32.

Party: Republican, Independence.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in intelligence analysis, American Military University, 2008; Master of Business Administration, American Military University, 2011; Master of Science in engineering and management, Clarkson University, 2014.

Occupation: Technical management.

Previous government experience: Eight years working with the City of Burlington.

Civic organizations: Adjunct faculty, North Country Community College.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing the city right now, and what would you do about it?

"I believe our biggest challenge is this city’s fiscal solvency. In 10 years’ time, our city tax levy has more than doubled from $4.7 million to over $9.8 million. With the recent financial collapse of Detroit, it is imperative we make the smart, logical choices today, in order to create a fiscally strong tomorrow. The way to do this is by implementing Lean Six Sigma. Six Sigma is a scientific method for reducing organizational costs, while improving efficiency at all levels. Since its debut in the private sector, many local governments have also used the process with spectacular results. For example, in just eight years’ time, Fort Wayne, Ind., managed to save over $30 million by using Lean Six Sigma. Likewise, the City of Tyler, Texas, saved $3.1 million and nearly 17,000 man hours in city projects. If elected, I will fight to implement Lean Six Sigma as part of our government, and I will ask that all city officials and workers, whose hearts are willing and courageous, participate in helping to create a stronger tomorrow."

 

JOSHUA KRETSER

Age: 35.

Party: Democrat, Working Families.

Education: Nazareth College of Rochester, music therapy; Fashion Institute of Technology, interior design.

Occupation: Owner/designer at pod studio.

Civic organizations: Plattsburgh Rotary Club Board of Directors; Vision2Action Steering Committee; Plattsburgh Roller Derby League Board of Directors (North Country Lumber Jills); Clinton Community College's Clearly Clinton Campaign Campaign Cabinet Committee; chairman for the Arts in Clinton County Task Force for Vision2Action; Plattsburgh International Airport Art Advisory Board; North Country Chamber of Commerce ambassador; CVPH Foundation Special Events Committee; Clinton Community College Foundation Special Events Committee; Plattsburgh Downtown Association; American Heart Association's Plattsburgh Heart Walk and Go Red for Women Dinner volunteer; Adirondack Young Professionals Group Board of Directors; past member of Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts Board of Directors.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing the city right now, and what would you do about it?

"The City of Plattsburgh is poised for immense development and growth, however we must work to lower the city's rising taxes. Reforming and restructuring the city's Community Development Office will be our first priority. This city department will be actively seeking state and federal money we have been missing for the last few years. Formulating a plan for permanent street closures will revitalize downtown. These closures will create a destination for foot traffic and in return attract national retailers to sit alongside the already thriving local downtown businesses, bringing retail consumers back downtown. The current city budget already has funds allocated for community development, which will allow the council to move forward to reinstate the Community Development Office. The City Recreation Department will also undergo some restructuring to allow for the superintendent of recreation to focus on attracting more national and international recreational initiatives, which will increase tourism and continue to stimulate our city's economy."

 

ALTONA

TOWN COUNCIL

(Vote for two)

 

JEANNE BUSHEY

Party: Democratic.

Age: 57.

Education: Northern Adirondack Central School graduate.

Occupation: Retail manager at a convenience store.

Previous government experience: Past four years on the Altona Town Council, incumbent.

Community service/civic organizations: Treasurer for Woodmen of the World Chapter 462 for eight-plus years, fraternal delegate to its jurisdictional conventions three times, chair of its Fraternal Projects Committee; active member of Holy Angels Church and involved in several of its fund-raising projects; active in several youth groups; member of the Survivor Tent Committee for Relay for Life.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

"I think it's maintaining our budget and improving our community's roads and sidewalks. I would also like to improve our Recreation Department."

"I'm looking forward to taking part in building our new town garage that we have the money for and are looking to begin construction in the spring. It will be done with no additional debt."

 

JAMES "JIM" FOUNTAIN

Party: Republican

Age: 49.

Education: High-school graduate.

Occupation: Jim's Light Hauling, owner.

Military: U.S. Army, 5 1/2 years, a year in Turkey.

Civic organizations: North Country Honor Flight, guardian on September flight.

Family: Two adult daughters.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

"I would like all information to be public and accessible. If there are any questions, I would like them to be answered at a meeting."

 

JOEY M. SNIDE

Party: Democrat.

Age: 46.

Education: High-school diploma, some college classes.

Occupation: New York State Department of Correction and Community Supervision.

Previous government experience: incumbent councilor, serving fourth year.

Civic organizations: Adirondack Mountain Club.

Family: Wife, Mary; daughter Ashley Brassard, Emily Snide.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

One of the big plans we have for the near future is the new town garage (that will built on road adjacent to Feinberg Park.) It's definitely going to be better to move from (garage behind the Town Hall) and get into a totally building." 

Also, he said, "we've been trying to get the sidewalks in town completed. Some town roads, I'd like to get completed (paved)."

Work on the Family Dollar store in town has been delayed a bit, but he is pleased it will be built. "That's positive," he said. "It's a new business in town. I'd like to see more small stores and businesses come in."

 

GREGORY M. SPINNER

Party: Republican.

Age: 45.

Education: Some college at Clinton Community College.

Occupation: Parts manager at Knight Automotive in Plattsburgh.

Previous government experience: Altona Town Zoning Board of Appeals since 2012.

Community Service: Deputy coordinator with Clinton County Emergency Services since 2010, firefighter with Altona Volunteer Fire Department since 1996.

Family: Wife, Jen; two nieces who reside with them, Melissa, 11, and Amber, 9.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

"I feel it's important for government to be transparent, and that hasn't happened in Altona for many years."

Spinner said he wants "everybody to see what's going on and what's in the (town's) checkbook."

As one way to accomplish that, he videotapes Town Council meetings so they can be made public and aired on the Home Town Cable public access television.

 

AUSABLE

TOWN COUNCIL

(vote for two) 

Scot M. Zmijewski (R, C, I); Steven D. Sucharski (D).

 

BEEKMANTOWN

TOWN COUNCIL

RUFUS 'JOE' DEYO

Party: Democratic, Working Families.

Age: 66.

Education: Beekmantown High School.

Occupation: Owner and mechanic, St. Armand's Service Station, in business 46 years.

Previous government experience: 20 years on Beekmantown Town Council.

Family: Wife, Patricia; and four children, Rufus Deyo Jr., Amy Couture, Sherry Deyo-Pugh and Tracy Finley.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

"Getting that NYSEG pipeline for natural gas. It's looking good for maybe next year or the year after. They have to do a lot of homework for that.

"We will also do our budget as cheaply and efficiently as possible."

 

MICHAEL MORALES

Party: Democratic, Conservative, Independence, Working Families.

Age: 52.

Education: Associate degree in mathematics, bachelor degree in psychology, Ph.D. in developmental psychology.

Occupation: Research psychologist and associate professor at SUNY Plattsburgh.

Previous government experience: Beekmantown Town Council since 2009.

Civic organizations: Adirondack Mountain Club, Autism Society, American Solar Energy Society, Beekmantown Democratic Committee, Elmore SPCA, Association for Psychological Science, Society for Research in Child Development, United University Professionals.

Family: Wife, Helen Smith; three children.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

"The two issues are taxes and natural gas.

"State laws try to limit local tax levies (e.g., tax cap), but it’s up to councilpersons to reduce town taxes. One way I address this problem is by aggressively seeking cuts in the Beekmantown budget.

"Also, I believe part-time, elected officials shouldn’t increase their salaries on taxpayers' backs. ...Councilpersons haven’t increased their salaries during my time on the board, and I’ll work to keep it that way while serving as ... councilperson.

"Getting natural gas to residents, businesses and Beekmantown Central School District (BCSD) to reduce fuel costs is a must. I’m working with NYSEG, the Public Service Commission, BCSD and the Town Council to make this happen.

"On July 19, 2013, the way was cleared for a cost analysis to bring natural gas to BCSD, followed by a Sept. 27, 2013, meeting in which a time frame for a decision was developed."

 

SHERMAN P. DUBREY

Party: Republican.

Age: 56.

Education: Graduated from Saranac Central School; some college.

Occupation: Correction officer, Clinton Correctional Facility.

Previous government experience: Seton Catholic Central School Board, including former chair.

Civic organizations: Council 82 and NYSCOPBA union representative at Dannemora for 22 years, many years as chair, and taught stewardship classes and arbitrated some employment cases; Beekmantown Republican Committee, second year as chair; and Clinton County Republican Committee Executive Board.

Family: Wife, Catherine; children, Jessica Sloan and Jason Dubray.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

"I am for alternative energy for the Town of Beekmantown. It's cleaner, healthier and, lots of time, cheaper because of government subsidies.

"I'm also an advocate of getting natural gas for town facilities.

"My son's family is fourth-generation Beekmantowners. I understand what the town has been through and the direction the townspeople want to go. You have to think with an open mind and listen to everybody's concerns.

"I support the Second Amendment because I hunt, fish and shoot skeet and think it's a privilege that should be handed down to our children and grandchildren."

 

OTHER RACES

Town clerk/tax collector: Kelly M. LaFountain (R, C, I); Maureen Bradish (WF).

Town supervisor: Dennis J. Relation (R, C, I).

Assessor: Michel Fountain (R, C, I).

Highway superintendent: Roger A. Perry, (R, C, I).

 

BLACK BROOK

Town Council (vote for two): Ronald G. Wilkins (D); James J. Seguin (D).

Town justice: Gary E. Frenia (D, C, I).

 

CHAMPLAIN

Supervisor: Larry G. Barcomb (R, C).

Town Council (vote for two): John L. Cooper (D); Bryan E. Moore (R).

Superintendent of highways: Allen J. Racine (D).

Town clerk/tax collector: Julie L. Castine (R, C).

 

CHAZY

SUPERVISOR

MARK R. HENRY

Party: Republican, Independent.

Age: 65.

Education: Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Plattsburgh.

Occupation: Retired, formerly deputy chief of U.S. Border Patrol.

Military service: U.S. Navy, four years.

Previous government experience: Chazy Central Rural School Board member since 2000, former board president; vice chairman of Alice T. Miner Museum Board since 2007.

Civic organizations: American Legion Post 20 in Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh Elk's Club, Chazy Lion's Club.

Family: Cheryl, wife; four adult children, Matthew, Laurabeth, Kristen and Michael.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them? 

"I'd like to ensure that we enact policies that can provide an environment for a vibrant, growing community that can attract and hold new residents, that can increase visitors and will improve our overall economic health." 

He said his plan to do that would include protecting property values and residential neighborhoods, having an environment for low taxes and sensible spending, preserving historic resources and encouraging affordable senior housing. Henry said he would also like to see agricultural and community development and expansion of town utilities.

 

PETER SOUZA 

Party: Independent, the Souza Party.

Age: 56.

Education: Chazy Central Rural School.

Occupation: Semi-retired, Souza's Mystic Minis. Previously owned a tractor-trailer business. 

Family: Michelle, wife. Five children, Samantha, William, Arrin, Britney and Corey.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them?

"We're losing our children. I would like to see if we can get small businesses in our area so we can keep our children (here) and have our community grow. I want to know what the community is looking for ... not always what the town board wants from the community."

Also, Souza said, he would: have an open-door policy if elected; ensure the budget fits the community with adequate research going into all aspects of a project; and take a 10 percent pay cut as supervisor if he is elected.

 

TOWN COUNCIL

(Four-year term, vote for 2)

(Vote for two, four-year term)

MARTIN BOUCHARD

Party: Democrat.

Age: 47.

Education: Some college, SUNY Plattsburgh and Arizona State University.

Occupation: General construction contractor.

Family: Sons Joshua and Josiah.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them?

"The biggest issue is staying under the 3 percent tax cap," Bouchard said. "The only way you can address that is development."

 

CATHY A. DEVINS

Party: Republican.

Age: 59.

Education: Clinton Community College, two-year degree.

Occupation: Account clerk typist in the Northeastern Clinton Central School District's Transportation Department.

Previous government experience: Chazy Town Council member, 2001 to present.

Civic organizations: Executive director for Chazy Central Rural School District Alumni Association since 2000; treasurer of Chazy Republican Committee since 2008, member since 2003.

Family: Two adult children, Danielle and Matthew.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them?

"I'm really happy to say that I really don't think we have any one big issue at the moment. Keeping the budget under the 2 percent cap has been a challenge for us, and I feel that we have meet that challenge." 

She said it is her mission to "always look for the best solutions possible for any issues when they are given to us" and "making decisions, always keeping the interests of all taxpayers in mind."

 

WILLIE GIROUX

Age: 51.

Party: Republican. 

Occupation: An owner, Giroux's Poultry.

Education: Bachelor's degree in business administration from SUNY Plattsburgh. 

Civic organizations: Chazy Youth Hockey, coach; involved with Chazy Soccer Club. 

Family: Three children. 

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them?

"I think Chazy's in great shape, so I'll continue the quality services that have been provided at an affordable cost."

 

TIMOTHY P. COLLINS

Age: 41.

Party: Democrat.

Occupation: Co-owner of the Chazy Redemption Center. 

Education: Chazy Central Rural School graduate.

Family: Wife, Karri; son, Shay. 

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them?

"People are always concerned about how the money is spent. I want to listen to the people and see what they want to try and figure out what the best thing is for Chazy." 

 

TOWN COUNCIL

(Unexpired term; vote for one)

 

JOYCE I. SAMONEK

Party: Democrat.

Age: 67.

Education: Sequoia High School, Calif.; Clinton Community College.

Occupation: Realtor/substitute teacher.

Previous government experience: Clinton County Board of Elections, clerk; secretary to the subcommittee of the Chazy Comprehensive Plan Board; assisted in town-wide survey.

Civic organizations: Chazy Fire Department Auxiliary; Friends of the Chazy Library Fundraising Committee; town newsletter, six years.

Family: Two adult sons.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected? 

“I will do my best to bring the natural gas line in. I think the natural gas line is the biggest issue, and I’m asking my constituents for their input on other issues.”

 

DANIEL P. VESCO

Party: Independent.

Age: 65.

Education: Crawford High School, San Diego, Calif.; San Diego City College; electrician apprenticeship, five years.

Occupation: Winemaker, Vesco Ridge Vineyards.

Military service: U.S. Navy, 1968 through 71.

Civic organizations: Vice president, Lake Champlain Grape Growers Association.

Family: Wife, Nancy; son, Jason, 41.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

“One of the biggest concerns is trying to get small businesses and medium businesses located into the Chazy area to help with some of the taxes and make the area grow a bit. We’re a good little community and pretty well-balanced; we’re doing well, but we could be doing better.”

 

OTHERS RACES

Town clerk/tax collector: Philip F. Beauharnois (D).

Superintendent of highways: Timothy S. Lamica (D).

 

CLINTON

TOWN COUNCIL

(Vote for two)

FRANCIS (JAKE) HELM JR.

Party: Democrat.

Age: 48.

Education: Attended Chateaugay Central School. 

Occupation: Self-Employed owner of Helm Salvage and Trucking.

Family: Wife, Cindy; four sons, Francis, Keith, Cory and Ryan.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

"I feel that the biggest concern for our town is how we are going to use the money we are receiving from the windmill companies. I would like to see that the money is being used in best possible ways so that everyone is able to equally benefit from the use of the funds."

"One idea that I would like to see happen would be to build a community center that would be beneficial to all of the residents of the Town of Clinton, something that is useful for young and old alike, where our community members can get together for special gatherings. We also need a small recreational park for our young children. We could also make improvements to our ice arena so that there are more opportunities for the townspeople to get out and enjoy themselves."

 

GREGORY POUPORE

Party: Republican.

Age: 41.

Education: Associate in Applied Science, Clinton Community College.

Occupation: Senior safety specialist at Pfizer in Rouses Point.

Civic organizations: Churubusco Volunteer Fire Department; Clinton County Local Emergency Planning Committee; Clinton County Fire Advisory Board; deputy hazmat coordinator for Clinton County Office of Emergency Services; volunteer soccer and softball coach for Ellenburg Youth Commission.

Family: Wife, Allison; daughters, Kayleigh and Rhylee.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected? 

"Our community is very fortunate in the fact that we do not have to deal with the financial issues other communities are experiencing because of the revenue received from the wind turbine projects. If elected, I would continue to assure this money is spent in ways that best benefit our community and taxpayers.

"Over the years, we have experienced a decrease in the amount of younger families who have moved into our community, and this has had a negative impact on the Fire Department’s ability to recruit new members. Currently, the Fire Department does an exceptional job of keeping up with EMS calls, but there are times when volunteers may not be available. Presently, the town and Fire Department are working to address this issue. I feel I can help to resolve this issue better by being a member of both the town board and Fire Department."

 

ROBERT RUSHFORD

Party: Republican.

Age: 62.

Education: Ellenburg High School, attended Clinton Community College.

Occupation: Retired as a sergeant in the New York State Department of Correction and Community Supervision.

Government experience: Last 12 years on Clinton Town Council, incumbent.

Civic organizations: Ace Rod and Gun Club in Ellenburg.

Family: Wife, Ruth; stepsons, Kevin and Brian; son, Aaron; daughters Jennifer and Karri.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected? 

"Taxes have always been an issue because of a small tax base. The wind turbines have enabled us in the 2014 budget to pay for the town, county and Fire District taxes."

"We're going to continue to revitalize the Town Hall with SHIPPO money brought in by the turbines. Now that we have surplus money, we need to find a secure investment system so we have funds available in the future if the turbines are no longer here."

 

WILLIAM SOUCIA

Party: Democrat.

Age: 46.

Education: Chateaugay Central School.

Occupation: Bus driver/laborer at Chateaugay Central School.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected? 

"Keeping taxes lower. The wind turbines have helped a lot. I want to keep things calm between the people who like the wind towers and the people who don't like wind towers."

 

OTHERS RACES

Supervisor: Daniel L. Laclair (D).

Town clerk: Deborah A. McComb (D).

Superintendent of highways: Steven L. Matthews (D).

Tax collector: Cindy M. Helm (D).

 

DANNEMORA

TOWN SUPERVISOR

WILLIAM 'BILL' CHASE

Party: Republican; Mighty Miners Party.

Age: 56.

Education: Graduate, Northern Adirondack Central School; bachelor's degree in communication studies, SUNY Oswego.

Occupation: Retired sergeant from New York State Department of Corrections.

Previous government experience: Dannemora Town Council, 2012 and 2013.

Civic organizations: Lyon Mountain Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners; director, Lyon Mountain Youth Commission, Clinton County Youth Board; president, Lyon Mountain Mining and Railroad Museum; chairman, Lyon Mountain Citizens Youth League; lecturer, Eucharistic minister, choir member at St. Bernard's Catholic Church; member, Knights of Columbus Council 7215; member, Lyon Mountain Umpires Association; manager, Lyon Mountain Miners Baseball Team.

Family: Wife, Robin; children, Nick, Alex, Amanda and Sarah; two grandchildren.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

"Completion of the new Town Hall in Chazy Lake and the move from our Cook Street location in the Village of Dannemora. Negotiations of a new labor agreement with the workers of the Highway Department. Working on the Chazy Lake salt water issue, which could involve the formation of a new water district. Sale of ore sand and negotiating a new deal as the contract with the Canadian firm expires this December.

"Reaching an agreement with New York state over the money owed to Lyon Mountain Water District 1 since the closing of Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility. Escalating cost of fire protection and EMS services. Bringing cellphone service to Chazy Lake area. Upgrading and expanding our youth programs within the town.

"I am currently involved in attempting to resolve these issues, and in my two years on the town board, I have obtained a good working knowledge and understanding of all areas of the town. Each and every one of these issues affect the taxpayer in one way or another, and I would address them along with the entire town board, keeping in mind what would be best for them.

"I have pushed hard to keep the budget within the tax-cap guidelines and will continue to do so. I believe the accountability of all town employees needs to be increased and (the town needs to) make sure they conduct town business within the policy and procedures set forth by New York state and the town board.

"As supervisor, I would maintain a good working relationship with all town officials, plus the Village of Dannemora and also county and state officials.

"I will have an open door policy and make sure our local government is transparent and forthright."

 

PENNY A. LeCLAIR

Party: Democrat.

Age: 52.

Education: Graduate, northern Adirondack Central School.

Occupation: Mary Kay consultant.

Family: Husband, Randy; sons, Patrick and Brandon Minckler; three grandchildren.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

"One of the biggest issues is the water (Chazy Lake salt contamination) issue, and that definitely needs to move forward.

"Another issue is cell service and we'd like to see another cell-phone tower added."

 

TOWN COUNCIL

(Vote for two)

JOSEPH LeCLAIR

Party: Republican; Independence.

Age: 63.

Education: Graduate, Lyon Mountain High School; attended SUNY Albany and SUNY Plattsburgh; associate's degree in accounting, Canton College.

Occupation: Retired, New York State Department of Corrections; registered tax-return preparer, operating Big Joe's Tax Service.

Previous government experience: Served three year term as assessor for Town of Dannemora.

Civic organizations: Past treasurer, Lyon Mountain Fire Department.

Family: Wife, Sharon; children Jeffrey and Jodie; two grandchildren.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected? "Two of the outstanding issues that affect our town are the water-well contamination for some Chazy Lake residents and the milfoil problems at the two lakes (Chazy and Chateaugay).

"Another is the completion of the town garage/office complex. I plan on addressing these issues by achieving a remedy that is fiscally responsible to the taxpayers of the Town of Dannemora as well as satisfying to the parties involved.

"This will involve establishing a good working rapport with the fellow Town Council members and the new town supervisor. I plan to achieve that through open communication."

 

DAVID BENJAMIN

Party: Democrat.

Age: 60.

Education: Clinton Community College; CVPH School of Radiological Technology.

Occupation: Senior radiological technologist, New York State Department of Corrections.

Previous government experience: Dannemora Town Council, serving four-year term.

Civic organizations: QWL Building organizer; member of diversity management at Clinton Correctional; youth soccer coach and community fundraiser.

Family: Wife, Lisa; daughters, Heather and Olivia.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected? "Right now, the Chazy Lake water problem is a huge problem, and I'd like to get that resolved for the residents.

"We'd also like to finish the Town Hall/Town Garage and get moved in, and I'd also like to get the three communities of Lyon Mountain, Chazy Lake and Dannemora more involved in youth activities."

 

JAMES W. BARBER

Party: Democrat.

Age: 47.

Education: Graduate, St. Johns Academy.

Occupation: Maintenance supervisor 1, Clinton Correctional.

Family: Wife, April; sons, Brandon and Devin.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

"Taxes: Try to form revenue from our town property along with helping new businesses.

"Water ways: Work with DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) and local organizations with their issues on Chazy and Chateaugay lakes.

"Water issue with Chazy Lake residents: Work with New York state to resolve (contamination issue)."

 

DONNA M. WOOD

Party: Republican.

Age: 57.

Education: Graduate, Northern Adirondack Central School.

Occupation: Retired certified teaching assistant.

Previous government experience: Dannemora Town Council, served two terms.

Civic organizations: Member of the Shared Decision Making Team at CV-TEC.

Family: Husband, Clyde "Jim" Wood.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

"The biggest issue is the new Town Hall. That project, with the taxes that are going to be given to the people, especially the elderly, it's going to hurt them.

"The other is the broadband and cell phone (coverage). One of the areas in Chazy Lake is kind of remote, and they have no service. If elected, I'd like to get that in.

"And I would also work with the state officials in regards to the water situation (salt contamination). And any other area that needs to be addressed, I will deal with effectively and efficiently."

 

OTHER RACES

Superintendent of highways: Lloyd J. Clukey (R); Mark A. Siskavich (D, I, WF).

Town justice: Ricky H. Coryer (D); Thomas M. Douglas (R).

Town clerk/tax collector: Deborah L. Coryer (R, D).

 

ELLENBURG

SUPERVISOR

HORST J. SCHROEDER

Party: Republican.

Age: 59.

Education: Business degree.

Occupation: Semi-retired automobile dealer; business manager for Northwestern Family Medical Center.

Military service: NATO, two years.

Family: Wife of 34 years, Judith; three children; four grandchildren.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

“I would like to preserve our way of life here,” Schroeder said of the low crime rate in the Town of Ellenburg.

He said he thinks it’s important to work with law enforcement to keep drugs out of the community and keep the crime rate down.

“The way of life up here is wonderful. There’s very little stress, no pollution and a very low crime rate.”

His 21 years of experience running a car dealership is an advantage, he said.

“My business experience qualifies me to run the town successfully. Running a town is basically like running a business. You have to be accountable for the money coming in and going out.”

DAVID F. LEONARD

Party: Democrat.

Age: 65.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Occupation: Painting contractor; Town of Ellenburg supervisor.

Previous government experience: Two years as town supervisor.

Family: Daughter, Kimberly.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

“As with all communities, the tax cap is a difficult issue given the rise of prices and insurances for our community.

“Workers’ Comp was up about 15 to 16 percent this year. Health insurance is always rising. Parts of equipment for the Highway Department seem to be rising more rapidly. We’re trying to stay within that budget.

“We’re fortunate to have windmill revenue in Ellenburg. Since they first came online in 2006, property taxes in Ellenburg have gone down 54 percent as a result.”

Prices continue to rise, though, and there’s only so much windmill revenue available, he said.

“It’s becoming more and more difficult to stay under that 2 percent tax cap.”

 

TOWN COUNCIL

(Vote for two)

NATHAN T. BOMBARD

Party: Republican.

Age: 22.

Education: Associate's degree in liberal arts, Clinton Community College; bachelor's degree in history with a minor in political science expected in December, SUNY Plattsburgh.

Occupation: College student.

Family: Engaged; parents, Gary and Linda Bombard; brother, Ethan.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address those issues if elected?

Bombard feels taxes are a big concern in the Town of Ellenburg at the moment and that lowering them would be helpful to the local economy.

“We have a very poor community, so we want to alleviate the tax burden and get the citizens spending again."

He would like to see the Town Recreation Park, which has been in the works for several years, come to fruition.

“I’d just like to see that finish. We’d like to invest in our youth, and we’d like to get them to stay here.”

 

JUSTIN J. DECOSTE

Party: Republican.

Age: 21.

Education: Graduate, Northern Adirondack Central School; completed one year at Clarkson University.

Occupation: Insurance agent and broker.

Previous government experience: Member of the Ellenburg Town Republican Committee.

Family: Parents, Curtis and Anita DeCoste.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address those issues if elected?

DeCoste feels budgeting issues need to be addressed within the town and that more consideration should to be given to the opinions and needs of community members.

“I think that the candidates need to just take some time to listen to their constituents and their community on different areas that affect them because in town politics, it’s a small enough community where party doesn't matter as much as people’s opinions."

 

DERYL L. GREGORY

Party: Democrat.

Age: 52.

Education: Master’s degree in counseling and human development, St. Lawrence University.

Occupation: Corrections counselor.

Previous government experience: Ellenburg town deputy supervisor, past two years; Ellenburg town councilor, past year; former Town of Ellenburg Zoning Board of Appeals member.

Civic organizations: Member of the Windy Acres and Breezy Acres Senior Housing Board of Directors for about 10 years; member, Knights of Columbus; trustee, St. Edmund Parish in Ellenburg.

Family: Wife, Christine; three children, Joselyn, Kelby and Loyal.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address those issues if elected?

Gregory said taxes are probably the biggest issue facing the community.

The Town of Ellenburg is fortunate to have a number of windmills from which it receives payments in lieu of taxes, putting less burden on taxpayers, he said, “but our concern is that there's a limited time frame on that.”

If the wind farms decide they no longer wish to operate in the town, Gregory said, the council would have to consider whether to increase taxes for residents.

Ellenburg Town Supervisor David Leonard plans to initiate public hearings on the issue next spring, an idea that Gregory supports.

“We just want to approach that issue with everybody’s input involved."

 

DENNIS F. LaBOMBARD

Party: Democrat.

Age: 65.

Education: Graduate, Ellenburg Central School.

Occupation: Retired from Wyeth after 36 years.

Previous government experience: Ellenburg town councilor, past four years; former Ellenburg town justice,12 years.

Civic organizations: Eucharistic minister at St. Edmund Parish in Ellenburg; member, Town of Ellenburg Senior Housing Board.

Family: Wife, Phyllis; two children, Lori Drown and Darren LaBombard; two grandchildren.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address those issues if elected?

LaBombardfeels the windmills are a big issue and hopes they will continue to help taxpayers by providing payments in lieu of taxes.

He said she intends to continue working for the better welfare of the people. 

“I will continue to be firm, fair and consistent, as I always have been."

 

OTHER RACES

Town clerk: Shannon L. Hamelin-Dubrey (D); Jason L. Dezan (R).

Tax collector: Nathan J. LaBombard (D); Michelle L. Dezan (R).

Assessor: Stewart F. Seguin (D); Joanne V. Schoonmaker (R).

Superintendent of highways: Bradley J. Wright (R).

 

MOOERS

SUPERVISOR

JEFF MENARD

Party: Republican.

Age: 54.

Education: Northeastern Clinton Central School graduate; justice-court training, 17 years.

Occupation: Parts manager, Dragoon's Farm Equipment.

Previous government experience: 17 years as Mooers town justice.

Civic organizations: Mooers Volunteer Fire Department firefighter, 25 years, presently president; Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, 28 years; lifelong member of St. Anne's Catholic Church, Mooers Forks.

Family: Wife, Joanne; children, Jonathan, 22, Jenelle, 19, and Jennifer,17.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

"My big issues is the way (the council members) conduct their meetings; they seem to have a lot of behind-the-door meetings then come to the (public council) meeting, don't discuss it, just vote yes or no.

"And I don't like the way they're spending money."

"My feeling is I can help this town a lot more as supervisor than as a judge — keep an eye on the spending, make sure meetings are open to the public."

If elected, Menard said, he would address the empty and deteriorating buildings in the Mooers hamlet.

"It's all dying," he said. "You can't do anything with these old buildings because there's no room for septic systems. I would look into putting some kind of septic in.

"I think we need to keep our taxes down; we need to watch what we spend — times are tough.

 

CORY ROSS

Party: Democrat.

Age: 39.

Education: Northern Adirondack Central School graduate; SUNY Canton, associate degree in mortuary science.

Occupation: Funeral director, Ross Funeral Home.

Previous government experience: Mooers town supervisor, incumbent, two years.

Family: Wife, Amanda; sons, Cael and Chase, daughter, Teagan.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

"Really, everything is running pretty smooth at the moment; I don't think there any major problems. I want to try to do something about a lot of the abandoned buildings on Main Street. We've touched on it (during his term) but haven't really done anything yet.

"I'd like to attract businesses to town and help it grow."

Ross denies the Town Council meets behind closed doors, except he said some sessions interviewing candidates for town appointments took place in his office.

He is pleased that construction on the new library/community center is coming closer, and would like to see an after-school program organized there, since the facility will be located right across the street from Mooers Elementary School. Maybe older students could help younger ones with their homework, he said.

"That library, for one, is a really good investment for our future."

The council is finalizing the 2014 budget, Ross said, and coming in under the state tax-levy cap is "no problem for us.

"People I talk to seem very happy with the way things are going."

 

TOWN COUNCIL 

(Vote for two)

 

ROGER FAVREAU

Party: Republican.

Age: 77.

Education: St. Mary's Academy graduate.

Occupation: Ayerst/Wyeth production-planning manager, retired.

Military service: U.S. Air Force, three years, cryptographic operator based in Germany

Civic organizations: Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, past grand knight; St. Mary's Parish member; lifetime honorary member, American Legion Post 767 (also past commander) and Veterans of Foreign Wars; Champlain EMS Board of Directors.

Family: wife, Margaret; sons, Gregory and Glenn.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

"The biggest issue is lack of planning. They do projects without any planning at all," he said, citing the library/community project as an example. "They have no plan as to the need of it. They have no architectural drawing of the building they want to put up."

Favreau said he has attended every Town Council session since July 2012, and he feels the board does not discuss matters at the regular meetings before the public. 

"The whole board never has an opinion, a question — it's a motion made: 'Everybody in favor? Yes.' And they don't even ask if anybody's opposed."

He also expressed concerns with how money is spent, questioning, among other expenses, having an attorney at every council session.

"That's very expensive."

 

SHIRLEY GADWAY

Party: Republican.

Age: 72.

Education: Ellenburg Central School graduate.

Occupation: retired Mooers town clerk/tax collector.

Previous government experience: Tax collector, 25 years; seven years combined town clerk/tax collector.

Family: Husband Dennis; two adult children, Robin Fortsch, Derrick Gadway.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

"I think the government has been taken away from the residents; they're not part of stuff. I would see to it that the laws are followed and decisions are made in front of the residents at board meetings, not prior to board meetings. This way your residents know what's going on.

"I will not vote yes unless it is legal and right and done properly.

Gadway retired her position of town clerk/tax collector in late 2012, expressing frustration with the present council's failure to comply with Open Meetings Law.

"Rules," she said, "are not made to be broken. A change is needed in Mooers."

 

GERALD J. LAVALLEY

Party: Democrat.

Age: 75.

Education: Mooers Central School graduate.

Occupation: Georgia Pacific, 42 years, now retired.  

Military service: U.S. Army, two years.

Previous government experience: Mooers Town Council member, incumbent, nine years; two years, tax collector. 

Civic organizations: Knights of Columbus Council 5136, American Legion Post 538, Eucharistic minister, St. Anne's Church, Wesleyan Church Food Shelf volunteer, GP Community Credit Union Board president.

Family: Wife, Darlene; eight children; 21 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

"The biggest one right now is getting our library/community center built. The (Mooers) Elementary School does not have a library, so it's going to be good for the kids. It's right across the street.

"Some of the buildings in town aren't in too good of shape. We have to do something about the vacant ones."

He said the town will save money by using its new equipment to plow the sidewalks and parking lot, and the 2014 tax levy will come in under the state cap.

"We're spending our money wisely."

 

MARY K. MYATT

Party: Democrat.

Age: 56.

Education: Northeastern Clinton Central School graduate.

Occupation: Employed at St. Anne and St. Joseph's Church; worked 31 years at Wyeth/Pfizer in Chazy.

Family: Darwin; children, Dalton and Cheyenne, Travis, David.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

"The biggest issue in our town is there's nothing for our kids, there's nothing to keep our kids here. It needs be cleaned up and (we need to) get businesses in.

"How many houses are there on the main drag that nobody lives in? They're going to pot; it's sad."

Myatt is in favor of the library/community center planned for School Street by the Town Council. And, if elected, she would welcome people to come "with their ideas and what they think would be helpful" to make Mooers a better place to live.

 

OTHER RACES

Superintendent of highways: Dick Boulerice (D, C, WF); Ricky A. Rabideau (R).

Town clerk/tax collector: Brandi B. Lloyd (D).

Town justice: David P. Kokes (R).

 

PERU

 

TOWN COUNCIL

(Vote for two)

LANA KNIGHT

Age: 47.

Party: Democrat and Voice for Peru.

Education: Pro-Merito High School diploma; American Institute of Banking financial certification.

Occupation: Director of Christian Education at Peru Community Church; former banking supervisor.

Civic Organizations: Literacy Volunteers tutor, Middle School Youth Group leader, Soup Kitchen volunteer, former board member of the Samaritan Family Counseling Center, Respite Care Provider for children diagnosed with mental-health issues, partner with the Peru Food Pantry on food and clothing drives.

Family: Husband, George; children, Gabrielle and Corey.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

"My aim as a member of the Town Council is to facilitate open communications between the different departments and to move agenda items regarding residents' concerns along in a much more timely manner. Too often issues remain unresolved for longer than necessary, causing undue stress and disruption to our citizens. 

"I also feel I would add a measure of balance from a woman's perspective."

 

DONALD McBRAYER

Age: 51.

Party: Republican.

Education: Graduated from Beekmantown Central School; currently enrolled at Clinton Community College.

Occupation: Owner/operator of D&K Commercial Flooring and Don Yo! DJ Service & Website Design.

Previous government experience: Member of the Peru Zoning Board; member of the Peru Comprehensive Planning Committee; chairman for the Peru Republican Committee and executive member on the Clinton County Republican Committee.

Civic Organizations: Financial secretary for Peru Knights of Columbus Council 7273, honored as the 2010-2011 "Knight of the Year"; chairman for the St. Augustine's Parish Council, honored with the 2013 "Golden Rose Award" for charitable acts; past chairman of the St. Augustine's Applefest Committee; board member for Champlain Valley Habitat for Humanity; and organizer of the 2013 Peru Classic Car Show.

Family: Wife, Kara; children, Adam and Natasia (McBrayer) Benjamin; granddaughter, Demi. 

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

"I see a very bright future for Peru. As the economy continues to improve, the area in general is going to see growth. Peru is in a position to benefit greatly from this, but it’s going to require hard work, careful planning and dedication toward success. Commercial development must be pursued to provide valuable services, help reduce taxes on residential properties and to provide job opportunities. I would work closely with our town, county and state representatives to discover and pursue every opportunity toward this end. We have a great town, and I'm certain it's only going to get better."

 

JAMES T. DOUGLASS

Age: 73.

Party: Democrat, Independence, Conservative.

Education: Graduated from AuSable Valley High School; attended Clinton Community College.

Occupation: Retired meat manager at Hannaford and Grand Union.

Previous government experience: Former councilor for Town of Black Brook (28 years); former assessor for Town of Black Brook.

Civic Organizations: Soup kitchen volunteer at St. Augustine Church and trustee at Peru Community Church.

Family: Wife, Jackie; children, Connor, Jamie, Jon, Janine, Andrea and Timothy; 13 grandchildren.

What are the biggest issues facing your community and how would you address them if elected?

"Our biggest issue is always trying to keep a budget that is manageable without increasing the taxes, and that's always a challenge. We have good department heads, but we can't do it alone, and sometimes cuts have to be made. I will continue to work for good government that is fair, honest and careful with finances in these challenging times."

 

OTHER RACES

Supervisor: Peter G. Glushko (R, C, I). Kregg M. Bruno (D) is on the ballot but has told the Press-Republican that he withdrew from the race and is supporting Glushko's re-election 

Town clerk/tax collector: John I. Facteau (D); Kathleen F. Flynn (R, C, I).

Superintendent of highways: Michael H. Farrell (R, D, I, C).

Town justice (vote for two): Jim Kirby (D); John H. Lawliss (R).

 

 

TOWN OF PLATTSBURGH

TOWN COUNCIL

(Vote for two)

 

BILL BRUDVIG

Party: Republican.

Age: 51.

Education: Bachelor's degree in business administration and accounting, Oregon State University; New York state licensed real estate broker for more than 10 years, including mandatory continuing education requirements in real estate, ethics, fair housing and business law; former notary public.

Occupation: Owner of Heritage Homes NY LLC, Real estate development and home building; general manager and comptroller for Renaissance Village Suites and Friends Internet Launderette.

Previous government experience: Town of Plattsburgh Zoning Board of Appeals, 2002 to 2008; committee member of the 2006 Town of Plattsburgh Zoning Re-Write Committee.

Civic organizations: Founding member, past president and long-time treasurer of Adirondack Builders Association; active in Adirondack Builders Association Annual Home Show, held each spring, and community involvement projects such as the Strand Theatre and Valcour Lighthouse.

Family: Wife, Christine; daughter, Lindsey.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

"Clearly, the current biggest issue in the town is the proposed $1.5 million increase in town property taxes by the current council. It is simply the wrong thing to do. Their excess spending has far exceeded the sales-tax revenue afforded the town, and now the council has resorted to property taxation to make up the difference.

"The correct approach is to cut unnecessary spending. I possess the business experience and budgeting knowledge to make that happen. For nearly 30 years, I've been trained in the daily process of watching how to spend money effectively and efficiently. You cannot save $100,000 on one item; you save $1,000 on 100 items. You spend wisely on infrastructure, roadways and recreation to promote new business and tourism. Government does not create private-sector growth; it facilitates it. New property taxes inhibit growth, both business growth and population growth."

 

MICHAEL S. CASHMAN

Party: Democratic, Working Families.

Age: 32.

Education: Master's degree in college and agency counseling, SUNY Plattsburgh; bachelor's degree in speech communication, SUNY Plattsburgh.

Occupation: Assistant director of campus activities, SUNY Plattsburgh.

Previous government experience: Town of Plattsburgh Zoning Board of Appeals, Town of Plattsburgh Zoning Update Committee.

Civic organizations: Vice president, Town of Plattsburgh Local Development Corp.; member, United Way Day of Caring Planning Committee, former and founding president, Adirondack Young Professionals; former co-chair, SEFA campaign at SUNY Plattsburgh; former Board of Directors, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society; SUNY Plattsburgh Alumni Association Board of Directors; College Council; College Foundation; and College Auxiliary Services Board of Directors, vice president.

Family: Wife, Olivia Busuttil-Cashman.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

"The biggest issue affecting the community of Plattsburgh is the ongoing struggle to maintain the good public services we have while keeping our taxes low. Good public services are critical to maintaining the quality of life we have here in Plattsburgh.

"We need recreational opportunities, especially for our seniors. We need to maintain good roads and our sewer system. We need to make sure our brave first-responders have what they need to do their important job.

"I believe we can strike this important balance by raising revenue and reducing our expenses. We can raise revenue by inviting new businesses into our community and increasing tourism. We can reduce our expenses by offering online tax-bill payment to save on paperwork. We can reduce expenses by adopting green technologies that will reduce our energy consumption.

"The Town of Plattsburgh is a vital and vibrant contributor to the future of our region.

"I have the passion, principles and experiences to serve as town councilperson. I will work tirelessly to listen to and lead on my community’s behalf. I will be vigilant in ensuring the quality of life of residents, support economic development and good public services."

 

PAUL D. LAMOY

Party: Democratic, Working Families.

Age: 51.

Education: High-school Regents diploma; attended Clinton Community College and SUNY Plattsburgh; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Apprentice Program.

Occupation: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers electrician foreman.

Previous government experience: Plattsburgh Town Council, five years, incumbent; Plattsburgh Town Planning Board, three years.

Civic organizations: Plattsburgh Elks Lodge; high-school baseball and softball official, USA Hockey official; former volunteer firefighter and EMT; former Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon chairman; Relay for Life Committee; and USA Youth Hockey coach, 14 years.

Family: Wife, Karen (Senecal) Lamoy; son, Jason; and daughter, Ashley.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected? 

"Without question, the biggest problem the Town of Plattsburgh faces is our fiscal health and the ever-increasing state mandates with no mandate relief. We are needing and will need to continue to squeeze our budget and ask employees to do more with less. We will build our cash reserve back, but we will need to do it over a period of time.

"We also need to promote responsible growth and improve our aging infrastructure. We should also encourage the county to do their fair share; only the state of New York benefits more than the county when it comes to sales tax. With the county receiving so much sales tax from the town, they should pony up some of the money needed to improve and expand the infrastructure.

"I will always look for new and innovative ways to save money or share services."

  

TOM METZ

Party: Republican.

Age: 67.

Education: Master's degree in systems management, University of Southern California; master's degree in computer languages, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; bachelor's degree in mathematics, DePauw University. 

Occupation: Retired from teaching at Clinton Community College and SUNY Plattsburgh.

Military: Retired from U.S. Air Force after 24 years; served as executive manager for EWO, Combat Operations Plans; five Air Force awards for program.

Government experience: Served on the South Plattsburgh Water & Sewer District Boards before consolidation.

Civic organizations: More than 30 years volunteer service to North Country youth; presently on the Twin Rivers Boy Scouts Council Executive Board and assistant council commissioner; twice served as president of Cliff Haven Homeowners Association; created the Red Cross Disaster Plan, covering two counties and 100,000 people and adopted as a model for other Red Cross Chapters.

Family: Wife, Elizabeth “Betsy” Campbell; two sons, John and Ken.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

"I believe that it is the obligation of the board members to represent the interests of all residents. I intend to listen to Plattsburgh residents and to work within the board to find solutions to our budget squeeze. First, to ensure that you get good value for the taxes you pay. Secondly, to maintain essential services (highway, water/sewer, youth programs). Then prioritize and fund other activities so that the town does not exceed its income revenue. Since we want businesses to move here, we must start to demonstrate good 'business' management of our limited resources.

"Good management also demands that we develop realistic financial budgets. The key here is to control spending. Budgets should start with realistic estimates of revenues and taxes, then funding required activities; we can spend the remaining dollars on prioritized programs. When the economy starts to boom again, the increased income can be allocated to additional activities, returned to the county to reduce future taxes or put in savings (general fund balance).

"The town has overspent for the past four to six years; it will take some time to dig out of this situation but we must make it happen."

 

OTHER RACES

Tax collector: Jackie A. Bellew (D, WF).

Town justice: Kevin M. Patnode (D, WF).

 

SARANAC

TOWN COUNCIL

(Vote for two)

MICHELE PETRASHUNE

Party: Republican, Independent — Team Saranac party.

Age: 43.

Education: Saranac Central School graduate, associate degree in business administration from Clinton Community College, bachelor's degree in accounting and business administration from SUNY Plattsburgh.

Occupation: Senior account clerk typist for the Clinton County Health Department, Saranac Fire District treasurer.

Previous government experience: Saranac Fire District secretary.

Civic organizations: Assumption of Mary Catholic Church member.

Family: Husband, Andy.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

Obviously, the biggest thing is the economic times we're in. We really have to pull together and get a team effort and look at every decision, everything that comes before the board, to make the best decisions with the information that we have, being conscious of the economic environment we're in.

SAM TEDFORD

Party: Conservative.

Age: 71.

Education: A.A., Clinton Community College.

Occupation: Retired as a lieutenant from Clinton Correctional Facility.

Military: Three years in the Navy (1960-1963); discharged as radar man 3rd class.

Previous Government Experience: Town supervisor of Saranac from 2000-2004.

Civic Organizations: American Legion; president of Saranac Independent Cemetery Association.

Family: Wife, Joyce, deceased; son, Jamie Tedford of Saranac; daughter, Tammie Champagne of Plattsburgh.

What are the biggest issues facing your town, and how would you address them if elected?

“The same things that affect any small town — health insurance, making finances go as far as they can. Being financially responsible for every penny you spend.”

 

DAN CARTER

Party: Democrat / Working Families Party.

Age: 39.

Education: SUNY Plattsburgh.

Occupation: Substitute teacher.

Family: Wife, Kelly; son, Samuel; daughter, Ella.

What are the biggest issues facing your town, and how would you address them if elected?

“Budgetary concerns, trying to maximize what you can do. People don’t want taxes to go up and I don’t want them to go up. Trying to get high-speed internet and trying to bring a farmer’s market to town.” 

Also, he said, reducing the speed limit of a portion of Route 3.

 

Candidates Ellen Lamora (D, WF) and Robert V. Brooks (R) did not respond to requests for information for this report.

 

TOWN COUNCIL

(Unexpired term, vote for one)

ROMAN F. MINER

Party: Democrat.

Age: 69.

Education: Regent's diploma, Sallaz Academy, Redford.

Occupation: NYSEG, almost 37 years, retired; former Northern Adirondack Central School bus driver; former truck driver; opened R&R Greenheat on Hardscrabble Road in Saranac with his brother, Roger, in 2008.

Civic Organizations: Union rep while working at NYSEG, Knights of Columbus Council 6067; St. James Church in Cadyville; 20-year member Cumberland Head Fire Department.

Family: Wife, Taunyia; one daughter and four sons.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

"I don't know all the questions, so I don't pretend to have the answers. I, if elected, believe my job is to represent the interest of the people. I am frugal with my own dollars and will be more frugal with your dollars

I'm not aware of any problems in the township. If elected, I'm not coming into this job with any agenda. I apologize to constituents for not getting out (campaigning much). busy in store, 

His email and phone number is on his flier, available in local stores

 

JANINE ALLEN

Party: Independent and Republican.

Age: 41.

Education: Associate degree in applied sciences from Clinton Community College.

Occupation: Registered nurse.

Civic Organization: Nursing Services Organization.

Family: Husband, Jamie; sons Jaylin and Jaden.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

“Teamwork and listening to the people and addressing concerns.”

 

OTHER RACES

Superintendent of highways: Leo P. Vann (R); James “Jim” Facteau (D, C, I, WF).

Supervisor: Joe Gerardi (D, WF).

Town clerk: Mary Bell (R).

Tax collector: Mark W. White (D).

 

 

SCHUYLER FALLS

SUPERVISOR

HAROLD E. ORMSBY

Party: Republican.

Age: 78.

Education: Graduated from Peru Central High School. 

Occupation: Owner of Ormby's Well Drilling, Inc. 

Previous government experience: Town Council, 4 years. Town Supervisor, 14 years. 

Civic organizations: Clinton County Fair Board member.

Family: Wife, Robin; son, deceased, Craig. 

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

"We're just closing out on a private water district for Macy Lane, it's been in the works for almost a year and a half. We're a pretty quiet town really; our tax rate has gone way done...we're debt free."

 

KEVIN J. RANDALL

Party: Running as a Democrat, member of the Republican Party.

Age: 48.

Education: Clinton Community College, two years.

Occupation: Sergeant at Clinton Correctional Facility.

Previous government experience: Chief of the Morrisonville Fire Department; member 1985 to present.

Civic organizations: Head of the Junior Firefighter Program, 2007 to present.

Family: Wife, April, daughter, Chelsy, and son, Kevin.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected? 

"I'd like to see natural gas to come into our town. Everybody is interested." 

With gasoline and kerosene at almost $4 a gallon last winter, natural gas could reduce heating costs, he said. 

"Everybody that I have spoke with said this is huge issue for them." 

The Town Council should put a plan in place to accomplish goals, he said. "We should be looking to strive to accomplish certain goals each year, and I really don't see that happening each year. We've done well, we've maintained, but we haven't capitalized on everything."

 

TOWN COUNCIL

(Vote for two)

 

BARB BENKWITT

Party: Independent, The Be Bold Party.

Age: 62.

Education: Bachelor of Arts, University of Rochester.

Occupation: Schuyler Falls town historian.

Civic organizations: Northern New York American Canadian Genealogical Society, Clinton County Historical Association, Champlain Valley Voices choir at SUNY Plattsburgh, Peru Community Church choir.

Family: Two adult daughters, Allison and Casey.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

"The biggest thing is doing long-range planning."

If elected, she would like to explore the installation of a natural-gas pipeline and possible commercial or industrial enterprises. 

"I'd like us to be known for more than the county landfill." 

Benkwitt said there may be other areas in the town that could use a municipal water system, and she would like to consider better public transportation that could enable better access of health care and services for seniors as well as the installation of a bike path near the Saranac River while being fiscally responsible. 

"(It's about) communicating back to the residents and hearing what the residents and constituents are interested in."

 

HOWARD B. NEWTON

Party: Republican.

Age: 56.

Education: some college at Clinton Community College.

Occupation: Sales manager at Key RD Trailer Sales in Plattsburgh.

Family: Wife, Karen; three adult children and one stepdaughter, Nathaniel, Chelsea, Ian and Danielle.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected? 

"The biggest issue is the tax rate, keeping it in check. We have a lot of seniors in our district and low income (residents) so it's very important to keep the taxes in check. (And) I'd like to see a little more activities for the seniors in our township."

 

TODD A. RABIDEAU

Party: Democrat.
Age: 45.
Education: Saranac High School.
Occupation: Manager for Advance Autoparts.

Previous Government Experience: 2002-2011, Schuyler Falls councilor.

Family: Married 25 years; two daughters, 21 and 18.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected? 

In the past, he said, the council tried :to control expenses and keep the tax level down as far as we can." 

That's what Rabideau said he would continue to do.

Richard "Dick" Reome (R) did not return calls requesting an interview.

 

WILLARD 'BILL' TODD

Party: Democrat.

Age: 70.

Education: Some college, SUNY Plattsburgh; New York State Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certification, Syracuse University.

Occupation: Chief plan operator for the City of Plattsburgh Water Filtration Plant.

Military service: U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.

Civic organizations: Commissioner of the Morrisonville Volunteer Fire Department since 1997, fireman since 1975, former grand knight for Knights of Columbus, presently trustee; trustee and choir member at St. Alexander's Church in Morrisonville.

Family: Wife, Carol. Three adult children, Paula, Marybeth and Christopher.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them?

"A lot people would have a lot better fuel economy if they had natural gas around here." 

Natural gas lines could bring a lower energy cost not only for the families of Schuyler Falls but to the school and Town Hall, Todd said. 

He would also like to attract more businesses to the town and lower the tax rate.