Monday, August 20, 2007

The Candidates

Josh Sabo Town Supervisor (D)

Like most residents, I am unhappy with what is happening in North Greenbush. The political attacks and counterattacks are embarrassing. The Town Board can not seem to function. How many people are embarrassed to say that they live in North Greenbush because of politics? How many more are tired of reading about the fighting in the newspapers?

I know there is an overwhelming feeling that something is seriously wrong with the government and politics in Town and that many people are feeling a sense of despair that anything can be done about it. Those of us who have lived in North Greenbush for a long time know that there have always been unsavory characters involved in politics, but for a long time we could count on Supervisors like Bill Dedrick and Jim Flanigan to provide hard working honest leadership for the Town no matter what else was occurring politically. The Town has not had that kind of leadership in a long time and we miss it.

Once it became clear that political insiders were working together to provide the incumbent Supervisor with a 'free ride' to re-election by handing him the nomination on every party line, many people asked me whether I would run for Supervisor. I always hesitated because running for public office in North Greenbush subjects you to personal attacks. There are many people involved in politics here who want to destroy their rivals so badly they will do and say almost anything to make them look bad. My kids are 9, 7 and 6. The older ones can read the Advertiser and will be able to read the lies that politicians will say about me because I am running for office, but I am going to run any way. The final straw was when my friend Mark Premo asked me to run so that I could do for Town Hall what he has done for the Highway Department.

I have one overriding goal for the Town – to become boring again. Not boring because nothing is happening, but because problems don't become a crisis that is worthy of newspaper coverage, because the Supervisor isn't making personal attacks on others, because all parts of the Town feel that they have a voice that will be heard and responded to. The Democratic Caucus will be Wednesday September 5th at the Elk's on RT 4. I encourage all registered Democrats in North Greenbush to come to the caucus and vote for the Democrat in the race for Supervisor.

Josephine Ashworth Town Council (D)

My name is Josephine Ashworth and I am running for North Greenbush Town Board. During the eighteen years I have lived in North Greenbush, I have watched many changes happen in our town. Much of that change has resulted from development. This has caused division in our community.

Recently,I see another real threat to our community that could have a lasting impact for generations to come. We are witnessing the take over of our political process by a group of people determined to take away choice in November. They have put forward the same candidates in the local Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines. They plan to have them endorsed on the Democratic line as well. As a member of the Democratic Committee, I, along with Highway Superintendent Mark Premo and others, will step forward and challenge their slate of candidates. If Democrats attend the Caucus and vote for our slate, we can join in opposing those who want to take away our democratic process and right to determine our future.

I am new to the political arena, but bring with me administrative, leadership and mediation skills that will stand me in good stead on the Town Board. Most importantly I bring a passion to see that our town's development is in line with our community's wishes and is carried out in a way that enhances our quality of life.

I believe that the Comprehensive Plan should guide our community. We should support smart growth and be thoughtful as to what constitutes smart growth. We should be aware of what generates taxes for our community and realize that projects that receive a multitude of tax breaks are not the answer to increasing our tax base. We should be responsive to the needs of all the community. We should work to make us one community with common goals.

I grew up in Albany and graduated from Cornell University. When I came back to the Capital District, I worked for the State and then owned a consulting nd leadership training business. My husband, Chip, and I have a blended family of four children and seven grandchildren.

With great pride, I have received endorsement from the new Greenbush Party and the Working Families Party. Remember, when November comes, you will have a choice. By voting for me and our slate, you are saying: I care about having a choice, I care about our town, I care about promoting smart growth that preserves the values of my community.

Charles W. Marshall Town Council (R)

My name is Wes Marshall and I am running for North Greenbush Town Council in the Republican Primary on Tuesday September 18th. I have also received the endorsement of the newly formed Greenbush Party.
I am a lifelong resident of Rensselaer County and together with my wife Debbie have been a resident of North Greenbush over seventeen years. We have two sons Jason and Ryan. Graduating from both HVCC (1980) and the State University College at Buffalo (1982) my education and early employment concentrations were Public Safety and Emergency Services. I am a former volunteer Firefighter, EMT/Instructor and municipal Police Officer. Currently I am the General Manager for RegUSA Services, a national motor vehicle title and registration service center. I presently serve on the North Greenbush Comprehensive Planning Committee.

I am campaigning for a Town Council seat for three important reasons. First, I fully support the need to complete and maintain a Comprehensive Plan for our Town. I support smart development that will not negatively impact our tax base, public safety, public works or school systems. I fully support the implementation of the I-90 phase II development project, not the widening of Route 4. A Wolf Road design along Route 4 would negatively impact the area and repeat the poor planning of the Brunswick Route 7 corridor. The Rensselaer Technology Park is the epicenter of our growth and I support development that would compliment that growth.

The second issue is support for a comprehensive review and revision of our town ethics code. Taxpayers are watching, and disapprove of unethical business practices. We need to maintain responsible stewardship of the public’s trust by following sound fiscal practices and working well within established budgeting guidelines. This is an issue, which divides our community and impedes public trust in our local government.

My final issue is a pledge to each of you is to be receptive to the needs and views of all Town residents. I will work to improve our quality of life and the financial health of our town. Higher taxes are not the in the best interest of our citizens. Fiscal responsibility and smart growth will lead us down the path of a more prosperous future.

Democracy is about choice, Thank You for your consideration of my candidacy.

On September 18th Please Vote for Charles “Wes” Marshall, Registered Republican.

Dennis Bonesteel Receiver of Taxes (Blank)

Dennis Bonesteel of Thomas Drive in Wynantskill has announced his candidacy for Receiver of Taxes for the Town of North Greenbush. Bonesteel is 48 years old and was born and raised in North Greenbush. He is married to Kerry Bonesteel and has two sons, Garry-Paul and Jason, both of whom are attending SUNY Colleges.

Dennis was recently endorsed by a new political party called the Greenbush Party, which was largely responsible for his decision to seek this service oriented office. “I was concerned that political leaders in North Greenbush were attempting to deny voters a choice by attempting to endorse the same candidates for several key positions including Supervisor and Highway Superintendent. As Receiver of Taxes, I will apply the same service oriented skills I use caring for my customers as a Territory Manager for NAPA for over 27 years and keep partisan politics out of this office.”

Bonesteel noted that he is not registered in any political party and that the duties of the office he seeks cannot be allowed to let politics interfere with public service. When you need information from the Receiver of Taxes, you are neither Democrat nor Republican, you are a taxpayer with a concern, stated Bonesteel. As such, I will seek the Democratic Party nomination at their caucus along with Mark Premo, our town’s outstanding Highway Superintendent, who is feeling the wrath of some party leaders who want to inject partisan politics into his important elective office. The Democratic Caucus is Wednesday September 5th 7PM at the Troy Elks, RT 4 N. Greenbush.

I am especially grateful to my wife whose encouragement to take this step for the good of our community was instrumental in my decision. Kerry serves on the town’s Comprehensive Plan Committee, which has dedicated hundreds of hours gathering community input for a town wide master plan for our future growth and development. This Committee of volunteers will help determine our town’s future and hopefully improve our tax base and quality of life using smart growth supported by our neighborhoods.

I look forward to the campaign ahead and to meeting with my neighbors as we work for a better North Greenbush and one that brings pride back to our government.

Mark Premo Highway Superintendent (C)

Mark Premo, North Greenbush Highway Superintendent for the past 4 years, has announced his candidacy to seek re-election to another 2 year term. Premo stated that much has been accomplished during the past two terms to improve services, build morale and streamline department operations.

The Highway Committee which consists of volunteers who donate their time to setting goals for this department have done much to provide citizen input and support for the changes needed to give the best service possible to town residents. I am especially pleased with the 5 year plan the Committee is putting together to help us identify and plan for the department’s needs in the face of increasing development and the demands this makes on personnel, equipment and services.

Premo noted that the greatest challenge he faces comes from ever increasing efforts to politicize the Highway Department. The new Democratic leader Jeff Spain, insisted that I denounce his political adversaries as a condition for his endorsement and the Conservative leader Mr. Casale, has allied himself with the Democrats and County Republicans to keep me off the ballot. They have endorsed a developer as their candidate and have even gone so far as to get a 19 year old, with no experience and no commercial drivers license, to oppose me in a Working Families Primary.

I believe their ultimate goal is to attempt to abolish the elective office of Highway Superintendent and to make the Department a tool of the town board by appointing a political patronage person to run the department. I will oppose this effort just as the voters of North Greenbush did in two separate referendums aimed at abolishing the elective office of Highway Superintendent. The people, and not the political bosses, should be able to hire and fire the highway superintendent based on performance.

I am proud to have received the endorsement of the Working Families Party and the new Greenbush Party which was formed by citizens who are fed up with the divisive and destructive political climate in town hall. This effort to get total control of town government saw the leaders of the 4 major parties make a deal in which the same candidates were being endorsed for Supervisor, a town board seat and Highway Superintendent. If successful, voters would have no choice in November and the bosses, thru this deal, would decide who ran the town, instead of the voters.

Next week, I will seek the nomination by the Democratic Party at their Caucus, Sept 5th at 7PM at the Elks Lodge. I will not accept the endorsement of Democratic Chairman Jeff Spain or those few Democrats who are backing his effort to surrender his party nomination to the County Republican Party and their nominees. Because I have such strong roots with the Democratic Party and because Mr. Casale, the Conservative Chairman is using his party control to benefit his business interests with the water district contracts, I have left the Conservative Party and enrolled once again as a Democrat.

I have received the endorsement of the Rensselaer County Democratic Chairman, Thomas Wade and felt the enormous support of the County Democratic Committee at a recent meeting I attended in Troy. At this meeting I witnessed a 133 to 20 vote of the committee which ensured a caucus in North Greenbush.
I know that Mr. Spain and his group of supporters do not reflect the feelings and wishes of the vast majority of Democrats either in North Greenbush or Rensselaer County. I will continue to do a great job as Highway Superintendent and serve all citizens regardless of party affiliations. In so doing, I will continue to be a positive reflection on town government and the party I call my own.

Janice Liberty Town Clerk (C)

Jan Liberty, who lives in the Wynantskill area of North Greenbush has announced her candidacy for the office of North Greenbush Town Clerk. “I am honored to accept the nomination from the newly formed Greenbush Party. It is my hope that through this party we can restore honesty and non-partisanship to our local government. We need and want a town government that makes town residents proud to live here and I hope to play a role in that process as Town Clerk”.

There is no room for the backdoor politics that have become all too familiar with our Town and the way it is run. I believe the Greenbush Party can restore a CHOICE to all who believe they have NO alternative.
I have spent most of my life in this Town. I chose to raise my family here. It is not only my heritage but my legacy to my children. I have dedicated myself to the enhancement of the Youth Programs by being a longtime member and past Chairperson of the Youth Advisory Board, DARE Committee and various
other youth oriented groups. My husband Mike serves on the Town’s Comprehensive Plan Committee and is helping guide our community to a bright future where smart growth will govern development decisions. I am committed to this work and oppose the political interference that has been injected into the process by the Supervisor’s office.

The time is now to stand up and say "I want to make our community proud of town government". We need to unite the town against the partisan politics and divisiveness that has gripped town hall. I am also proud to run with a bipartisan slate of candidates representing several political party affiliations, all of whom will work together for the good of our town. Their only desire is to restore faith and honesty in the town we ALL call home.

I am especially proud to run with and support Mark Premo, our outstanding Highway Superintendent. Mark has done a great job for our town and I am proud to be running with him.

As Town Clerk, I intend to keep politics out of this office and put service to our residents as the only priority of this office. I look forward to a vigorous campaign and extend my sincere thanks to the more than 500 town residents from all political parties who signed my petitions for Town Clerk to put people before politics.


Anonymous said...

I received a Google Alert on this web site and I want to thank everyone involved in taking this step to help residents sort out the waring factions in our town's political parties. What the party leaders are doing is threatening democracy itself, trying to get their candidtes endorsed on all the party lines.
I will be looking forward to a choice in November! Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Greenbush Party! You know you made it to the big time when you make the Troy Polli and your North Greenbush Pipeline blogs.

Ed Smyth said...

I'm so pleased to see a group of individuals offer a much needed intelligent alternative to the crass, unproductive behavior that passes for "politics" in North Greenbush. I've lived in town for ten years and have been active and informed voter, and yet can no longer figure out who is against who, who is aligned with who, who doesn't trust who, and so on.

Thanks for creating a fresh choice!

Anonymous said...

I have hope that North Greenbush will embrace the Comprehensive Planning process. Where do we want to be in 20 years? Peak oil, climate change - vision is vital so that there will still be resources like LAND that can be farmed or is forested for sustainably harvested fuel and lumber and game ... See you at Thurs., 8/30 7 pm Comp. Plan Meeting at Town Hall gym?