Sunday, November 01, 2009

Two now for Hartsville town supervisor race

Hartsville, N.Y.

It’s now a two-way race for Hartsville town supervisor Tuesday.

Michael Muhleisen, the Democratic candidate and listed as an independent under the Winner No. 1 Party, announced Saturday he will be pulling out of the race.

“It is clear my continuing presence in the race for Hartsville Supervisor has the unintended potential to divide what would otherwise be the overwhelming majority of Hartsville voters,” Muhleisen said in a prepared statement Saturday afternoon. Further in the statement, he endorses Zena Andrus, an independent candidate who lost the Republican nomination in a tie-breaking process.

Now, the race is between Andrus and Republican candidate Alice Bosch.

Bosch, 60, is a travel agent in Hornell, and wants the town board to get moving on several projects in the town.

“I’m trying to really get everything back on an even keel,” she said. “I think we need to take a deep breath and stop the bickering.”

Bosch said getting more income for the town should be the biggest priority, and that will likely come from the proposed wind turbine project being planned by German-base E.ON Climate and Renewables.

“The wind project is the best chance at the moment,” she said, adding the town board needs “to somehow get things firmed up with the wind project so we can go face-to-face with the schools to get a better share of the [Payment in Lieu of Taxes].”

The PILOT under negotiation for the project currently gives around 60 percent of the funds to local school districts, and sharing around 19 percent with the town. If the town were to negotiate with the schools, she said, the town could receive hundreds of thousands of dollars more over the course of the project to offset taxes in the town and pay for needed improvements.

Bosch also said she would like a policy made expanding the amount of work done by the town highway superintendent, including a mandatory 40-hour work week.

“I think for what we pay for a superintendent’t we should get a 40-hour week,” Bosch said, adding there have been problems in the past of highway superintendents organizing work in the mornings and then leaving for the day.

Andrus, who declined to give The Spectator her age, said she is interested in working with all town board members on town issues. Andrus also declined to answer questions in a telephone interview, instead submitting a prepared statement.

“As Supervisor in Hartsville, I intend to manage the town business and the financial responsibilities by working cooperatively with all councilmen,” she stated in the release. “My intention is to restore harmony to the Hartsville Board through the collaboration of both newly-elected officials and those presently seated. Working together as a team is of utmost importance.”

While work on the proposed wind law changes now before the town board is required, Andrus states, she also would like to work with the town highway department to cut costs.

“The highway equipment that needs upgrading and repairs, the ongoing negotiations for the proposed Teamsters Union for the Highway Department employees, payroll, writing grants and securing funds to help offset the rising costs of much need equipment and supplies, building a salt shed, and erecting a shelter to keep our existing equipment dry during adverse conditions. With the assistance of a united board with common goals we will ensure that all critical documents are submitted in a timely manner.

The only incumbent running again for town board is James Perry, who is under the Democratic Party and Winning Circle Party lines. Current board member Ben Ray, who won a two-year partial term in 2007, is not running again.

Perry, 51, has been an employee in the Alstom motor shop for 28 years. He has served on the town board for the past four years.

“The most important thing is to do your research,” Perry said, adding town board members must look at all of the sides of an issue before making a decision, like the proposed with project.
“Wind projects could be a good thing for the town, or it could be the worst thing for the town,” he said. “There’s important decisions to be made for the town.”

Perry added some review of the town’s highway department also is needed, but compromise is needed.

“The highway department is the biggest thing people see for their tax dollars,” he said. “Keeping the employees happy ... and keeping the people happy. It needs to be a balancing act. It’s very important that we work with what we’ve got.”

Nicholas Petito, a Republican candidate for Hartsville town board, is a 65-year-old retired state Department of Correctional Services officer who worked at Attica Correctional Facility, where he also worked in crisis negotiations.

“I see the disharmony in the legislature of this town,” Petito said. “The issues presented in front of the board don’t seem that difficult that they can’t solve the problems amicably.”

Petito said he is interested in seeing where the wind debate is going, but is not going to make a decision until he reviews both sides more thoroughly.

“I hope to keep an objective point of view because I don’t have a dog in this fight,” he said. “Is it going to be for the betterment of the town, is it going to be worse for the town ... we need to see.”

Petito added the town board also needs to check out the condition of the town highway department’s equipment is OK, as well as seeing if repairing aging machines is cheaper in the long run, or if the town is better off biting the bullet and buying new.

Also running for town board as a Republican is Ronald Amidon. Amidon did not return phone calls asking for comment.

Thomas Dobell, 39, is the frozen food manager at the Hornell Wegmans. He has not previously held a political office, and is on the Conservative Party and the Winning Circle Party lines.

Dobell said he has seen too much division on the town board, and would like to get more input from residents on their feelings about wind development.

“I would like to see them move forward with it if the majority of the town is in favor of it,” Dobell said. “Take their time, do their homework.

“Make sure they take care of the wind law, because the wind law is what will protect the town,” he added, saying residents could be seriously impacted if the wind law allows for bad siting conditions.

Keeping the town highway superintendent crew happy also is important, but without hurting the town.

“The highway department brought in the Teamsters union, so it’s going to be a challenge,” Dobell added.

Running unopposed for town highway superintendent is Roy Woodworth, who is on the Republican, Conservative and Time for Change lines. Woodworth is unopposed. Woodworth is the deputy highway superintendent for the town, and has been acting as the highway superintendent since July.

Also running unopposed is Hartsville town Clerk Kay Miles. Miles, who is running under the Republican and Winning Circle party lines, was elected in 2005 and again in 2007.

The polls will be open from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday at the Hartsville Town Hall.

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