Third party candidates in four-way race for North Elba Supervisor

Fred Balzac/Gary Kaltenbach

EDITOR’S NOTE: These two candidates were inadvertently left out of Saturday’s coverage of the North Elba town supervisor race.

NORTH ELBA — Two third-party candidates are taking on two town council members in the town supervisor race here.

Integrity Party candidate Gary Kaltenbach and Green Party candidate Fred Balzac are battling against Democrat Derek Doty and Republican Jay Rand in the four-way race.

Both Balzac and Kaltenbach cited stronger regulation on short-term rentals and improving housing affordability as a focus for the town moving forward if elected.

Name: Gary Kaltenbach

Age: 56

Party: Integrity Party

Occupation: Retired, running a small business.

Education: High school, Ohio Technical College, diesel engine repair

Civic organizations: Involved in the groundbreaking of the Shipman youth center

Previous government experience: 35-and-a-half years in the Essex County Department of Public Works as a shop foreman.

Family: Son and two daughters, and a girlfriend of seven years

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing your town?:

“I would like to do some stuff with tax relief to help young people actually afford houses,” Kaltenbach said, adding that the town could move more of the tax burden over to Airbnbs in the town.

“I believe that I got a lot of fresh ideas,” he said.


Name: Fred Balzac

Age: 60

Party: Green

Occupation: Freelance writer-editor and nonprofit/community organizer

Education: Bachelor’s degree in English from Columbia College, Columbia University, in New York City; Multimedia Journalism Certificate from SUNY Plattsburgh

Civic organizations: Currently takes part in: Adirondack Voters for Change, Saranac Lake; NYS Decentralization Grant-funded playwriting workshop at Wells Memorial Library, Upper Jay; Adirondack Film Society Board of Directors; volunteer with the Adirondack Global Arts Festival. Has also been a part of numerous other organizations in the past

Previous government experience: Former member and chair, Essex County Occupancy Tax Advisory Committee; volunteer grant writer and co-facilitator, Town of Jay Community Garden; committee member, Essex County Democratic Committee from 2008 to 2011

Family: Wife Kathleen Recchia, and one adult child

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing your town?:

“We need a full-time professional government in Essex County and a proactive, activist government in North Elba,” Balzac said. “Which is why I’m calling for reform of the Town Supervisor system at the county level, replacing it with a system of 7 to 9 freeholders elected at large county-wide, via proportional voting, and a full-time county executive elected directly by the people, not chosen in a back room, via ranked-choice voting; and at the town level, an open, honest and transparent town supervisor, Town Board, and town government.”

Balzac said that these reforms would help the town deal with the dire need for affordable housing, a moratorium on and effective regulation of short-term rentals and combating poverty, among other issues.

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Twitter: @BenWatsonPR 


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