Shandaken voters to choose board member
By Jay Braman Jr.
Voters will see many names on the ballot in Shandaken this year, where one local race takes place alongside several county- and state-level races. In the Town of Shandaken, Democrat Doris Bartlett will be faced by Woodland Valley resident Tina Rice, a Republican, to fill out the remaining year on what had been the town board seat of current supervisor Peter DiSclafani.
Bartlett, a Shandaken resident and former Democratic Party chair, was named to the post by the current town board last January and is the incumbent. She is running on her experience as owner of Mountain Business Services, former town assessor, and years of work on a variety of town issues as well as a devoted volunteer at the town’s dog shelter.
Rice is running as a non-politician without any agenda, and is plugging her background as a sports-oriented, PTA award-winning mom. Rice hopes to bring an end to what she views as partisan politics and special agendas that have bogged down local government. Rice has lived in town for 17 years and is a Jenkins Award recipient. If elected Rice vows to work for all of Shandaken.
Next November, the winner of the Bartlett/Rice race will again face re-election, along with DiSclafani and Rob Stanley, the town board’s sole Republican.
On the Ulster County level, the two main races are for the new positions of county executive and comptroller. Democrat Michael Hein and Independent-Republican Len Bernardo, candidates for county executive, and Democrat Elliot Auerbach and Republican James Quigley III, candidates for county comptroller, have all been touting the county’s need for economic development, but also regularly bashing each other for not having the right approaches to such a future. Hein, the county administrator at present, has been touting his record and experience writing the county’s budgets and overseeing its day-to-day operations. He says he understands business principles having spent a long time in the private sector as a banker.
Bernardo, the owner of an Accord skating rink, has played up his independent credentials throughout most of his race, noting how much of an opponent he is of Ulster County government today. Bernardo views de-politicizing Ulster County as crucial, saying that the recent county jail debacle came with a blame game that cost taxpayers $50 million.
“Politically connected people of both major parties, along with their closest friends have been running the government for 30 years in Ulster County,” he said.” I am not a product or part of the “good old boys” network of either major party. I believe that we need results in Ulster County, not “deals.” Accomplishments not press releases. Real economic development. Not wasteful pork-barrel spending.”
In the race for county comptroller, candidates also bank on their experience for success. Elliot Auerbach draws the distinction between himself and opponent James Quigley III by saying he is a guy who grew up on Main Street and that Quigley grew up on Wall Street.
Quigley has been speaking about his record of experience as a CPA, and his “big heart.” Quigley has said that he is prepared to give away his salary to the non-profits and charitable causes within the community to make the comptroller job all about community service.
A third candidate for county executive, Allan Wikman, ran independently of both parties and was kept off this November’s ballot after failing to secure the proper number of valid nominations. He has vowed to continue his fight, however, as a write-in candidate.
On the state level, incumbent Assemblyman Kevin Cahill of Kingston, a Democrat, is running against Republican/Conservative/Independence candidate Robin Yess of Esopus, a financial planner, for the 101st Assembly District.
Cahill is running on his record, as well as his acumen at getting things done in Albany. Yess points to 20 years of experience in the financial services industry and more than 10 years experience as a business owner to give her the background she says she needs to be an effective representative. Yess, a certified financial planner, is running as a reformer and wants to speed things up in Albany and change the way things are done.
State Senator John Bonacic is not facing a challenge this year.
For New York State Supreme Court, Rensselaer County Court Judge Patrick McGrath, a Democrat, is facing incumbent Justice Anthony Carpinello, a Republican from the same county.
On the national level, longtime incumbent Congressman Maurice Hinchey, a Hurley resident, is being challenged this year by Republican George Phillips, a Binghamton area native and teacher who once worked as a Congressional aide.
Hinchey is running on his record and his role as a key Democrat who cares for his region’s interests. Phillips has focused much of his race on the current GOP issue of energy independence through drilling.