Voters will go to the polls, Nov. 7
TRI-COUNTY AREA--The general election Tuesday, Nov. 7 will decide the district attorney race in Yates County, elect a new supervisor in the town of Barrington as well as elect council members, legislators and judges in the three-county region. Three statewide ballot propositions and three propositions in Barrington will also be decided.
The district attorney race in Yates County has been the highest profile race in the area. Incumbent District Attorney Valerie Gardner is running on the Republican, Conservative and Women's Equality party lines. Attorney Todd Casella is running as an Independence and Reform party candidate.
In Barrington, Eileen Farnan (D/A New Voice) is running for the town supervisor position against John Kuehn (R). Barrington also has three propositions on the ballot concerning businesses serving alcohol. Farnan said whatever the voters want is the direction the town should pursue, while Kuehn said he is in favor of all three propositions.
Additional contested races in our coverage area include the following:
In District 1, Italy, Jerusalem and Middlesex, four legislative seats are available with six candidates vying for the positions. Edward Bronson (R/C), Barb Crumb (D/A New Voice), Timothy Cutler (R), Elden Morrison (R), Douglas Paddock (R/C) and K. Dixon Zorovich (D/A New Voice) are campaigning for the open chairs.
In District 3, Milo, four legislative seats are available with seven candidates. The candidates include: Daniel Banach (R), Valerie Brechko (D/A New Voice), Carlie Chilson (R/C/Making a Difference), Leslie Church (R), P. Earle Gleason (R), Teresa Hoban (D/A New Voice) and Mark Morris (C).
The Benton town council has two seats open this year with three candidates. The candidates are Brian Champlin (R), Brian Murphy (D/A New Voice) and Glenn Quackenbush (R).
For the Milo town council, two seats are available with three candidates running. They are James Harris (R), Mildred Phillips-Espana (D/A New Voice) and Gene Spanneut (R).
In Torrey, three candidates are competing for two available seats. The candidates are Grant Downs (D/A New Voice), Burge Morris (R) and Colby Petersen (R).
The Jerusalem town justice position is also contested. Matthew Davison (R) and Sharon Pinckney (D/A New Voice) are the two candidates.
In Steuben County, Patrick McAllister (R) and Chauncey J. Watches (C/I/R) are both running for Surrogate Court Judge.
In the town of Urbana, Carla Ridge (For the People), Stephanie Thompson (R) and Deanna Tompkins (D) are campaigning for the position of town clerk. John Jack Merriam (R) and Randy Robinson (C) are both running for town justice.
In the town of Wayne, both E. David Bauer (R) and Charles Swarthout (D) are vying for the position of superintendent of highways.
The contested elections in Schuyler for this election include: Districts 1, 2 and 4; Tyrone and Hector for council seats. The town of Orange will vote for a town clerk/tax collector, council member and highway superintendent. In Dix, two are competing for the town clerk/tax collector position.
The League of Women Voters held a "Meet the Candidates" forum Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the Watkins Glen Elementary auditorium to provide residents with first-hand information from the candidates. During the session, the politicians discussed taxes, gas storage and the 414 corridor.
At the meeting, David Reed (Republican/Conservative) and John Van Soest (Democrat/Listening Party) were given the question, "What is the biggest challenge facing your district?" Both are running for the open legislative seat in District 1.
Reed said, "There is no one answer. Certain services that have to be provided regardless of the tax cap imposed by the state. Taxes, taxes, taxes. Everyone here pays more taxes now than they ever have before and yet we see more zoning, more restrictions, more laws saying you can do less on your property without someone saying you can do so. I don't like that."
Van Soest responded, "If you look around our town, you see people struggling financially. We're in a rural area where we don't have the economic power that places like Watkins Glen have. What we're concerned about is the economic development in the village and outside the village. We need to do what we can to ensure the tax burden is spread as evenly as it can be but also to keep that burden low."
Three candidates are competing for one legislative seat in District 2. The candidates include Joseph Campbell (D/The People First), Steven Crout (Listening Party) and Van A. Harp (R). They were asked the question, "What is your position on zoning or lack thereof?"
Campbell said, "This is a hot button issue. I think that there has to be some rules in place regarding zoning. Growth for the sake of growth is the very definition of cancer. We have to make sure we're doing the right thing and make sure we're not encroaching on our neighbors."
Crout answered, "There is a need for zoning but not necessarily a want. That doesn't mean it needs to be done right now. The town of Hector has done fine without the zoning however, to have something in place in case the time comes when we need to have zoning, it never hurts to be prepared for the future."
Harp said, "I am principally against it but I can see a use for it to control growth. I think there is a time and a place for it. I do not agree with undisciplined growth where people can do as they please."
Candidates for District 4, Richard Ballard (D/Integrity) and James Howell (R/Listening Party) were asked, "What is your vision for Schuyler county taxpayers?"
Ballard said, "We need businesses that are profitable and can afford a higher tax rate. The business park on 414, we have talented people in this county who are good at working with their hands. We could develop that area. We need to study the feasibility of attracting new 21st century businesses into the county. We have two issues--jobs and taxes. I would like to see a volunteer commission to study bringing new industries in for manufacturing, for good paying jobs. We need to attract new industry and we need to hold down individual property taxes."
Howell answered, "By dropping the tax levy we will be able to maintain a full level of service. By maintaining the whole level of service for minimal cost, it helps with the vision to have quality service and low taxes will draw people to the area. We need the good paying jobs to come in so we can improve our housing market. Land values and marketable properties will increase in value."
In Tyrone, Kerri Bartlett (D/Leadership), Christopher Bason (Justice for Tyrone), Troy Eyer (R) and Joe Sevier (R) are running for two open positions on the town council.
Hector will see six people run for three council positions. Bob Barton (D/Protect Hector), Michael Bergen (R/C), Robert Landon (R/C), Liz Martin (D/Protect Hector), Jessica Rodgers (D/Protect Hector) and Gretta Zafonte (R/C) will be on the ballot.
The town of Orange will see a few contested races. Caitlyn Roser (D) and Thomas Peer (R) are competing for town clerk/tax collector. Susan Allen (R) and Carol Rhoades (D) are going for one open council member position, while high superintendent is sought by Jeremy Abbey (D/R) and Jeffrey Sutton (Listening Party).
The town of Dix has James McMahon (R) and Helen J. Teed (D/Listening Party) running for town clerk/tax collector.
Throughout the state, three ballot propositions will be voted on regarding a constitutional convention, pension forfeiture and forest preserve land use.