Stanley, Nolan running for Shandaken Super post
By Jay Braman Jr.
Two candidates are vying for the top job in Shandaken.
Incumbent Town Supervisor Rob Stanley, a Republican, is seeking his second two-year term and is being challenged by Democrat Kathy Nolan.
Stanley, who has three children, is divorced and lives in Pine Hill. He has lived in town for most of his life and attended college at SUNY New Paltz, where he received a BA in Playwriting/ American Literature.
Nolan, who lives in Shandaken, is a former member of the town’s zoning board and has volunteered on several committees over the years. She is not married and has no children. Nolan said she has lived in Shandaken for the past 22 years after being raised in rural Tennessee. She has received MD and law credential from Yale University and before that received a degree in Philosophy.
Nolan supports development in the hamlets of town and seeks to protect the scenic beauty along Route 28. She feels her views on the controversial Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park are very different from Stanley’s.
Nolan believes that further review of the project, if it moves forward, would be one that the town board would need to be involved in.
“There will be a role for the town board and for the planning board,” she said.
On the campaign trail, Nolan has noticed that voters are thinking a lot about flooding and tough financial times.
“I think people are concerned about the long-term management of streams,” she said, alluding the work of the citizens group Save Our Shandaken (SOS) which was created after the town was hit by recent flooding. “They are also concerned to have economic recovery without that activity having a negative impact on the town,” she added.
Stanley said flood recovery efforts have taken so much of his time since the end of August that he has hardly had time to campaign. His focus remains on getting Shandaken back to normal.
“People seem to be positive about the way I’ve handled the recovery from (storm) Irene and Lee,” he said.
That recovery, he notes, is nowhere near complete, with an estimate of over $3,500,000 needed to make all the repairs. Asked how that might affect the town’s budget, Stanley said he has been told the town can expect money from FEMA and other agencies by the end of the year, so the town’s coffers will be filled before the brunt of that work is accomplished.
Even now Stanley holds to his preliminary budget.
“It is still at zero percent,” he said.
Stanley agrees with Nolan that people are interested in long-term stream management issues, and Stanley notes that he created a task force prior to the recent flooding to investigate just that.
“It’s called the Safari group,” he said.
The supervisor says that he and his opponent are not that far apart on issues like development. Stanley’s notes that many hamlets in town, like Allaben, Shandaken, and Big Indian, are on Route 28, and when he speaks of development on the highway he is talking about development in those areas where the zoning already allows it.
He mentioned an investigation into re-zoning a portion of Mount Tremper to make commercial the area of Al Higley’s Hanover Farms. Higley, who is running for town council on the Republican line, has been looking for the change to commercial.
But Stanley said it wouldn’t happen.
“People spoke out against it and it has been dropped and it will not come up again,” he said. “People have more to worry about in Shandaken then where to buy vegetables.”
Stanley does not feel that the Belleayre Resort project is an issue during this election, but did say that it was not clear what role the town board would play in the review process.