Friday, 11 October 2013 09:39

Voter’s Guide-County Supervisor Races - Saratoga Springs

By Staff Report | News

All three candidates answered the following questions:

Q1: What is your motivation for running for this office? What special skills, knowledge, experience or training do you bring to this position?

Q2: What are the three most critical issues facing Saratoga County today and in the near future?

Q3: The NYS Comptroller has listed Saratoga County as fiscally distressed. How do you believe this problem should be addressed?

Q4: Given the growth in population and economic development in Saratoga County what is your vision for the next 10 years?

 

Kenneth Ivins Jr.

A1: I am running to represent the citizens of the City on the County Board of Supervisor. I have served the City taxpayers as Commissioner of Finance, for four years. This gives me a unique experience that would be an asset as a Supervisor. I was the President of the Southern Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce for seven years. In that timeframe I established many relationships all around the County. Those contacts provide me with a broad perspective of our County.

A2: The three most critical issues facing Saratoga County are taxes, jobs and growth of the County. These issues are strongly connected to each other and if managed properly the County taxpayer will be the benefactor. With the right leadership we can ensure a strong economic climate that will keep our taxes low, allow our children to find good paying jobs in the County and see improvements to an already great quality of life in Saratoga.

A3: Maplewood Manor has negatively affected the strong financial position this county has maintained over the years. It has been losing more than $10 million per year. The Board of Supervisors has taken steps to sell the nursing home and reduce the budget deficit attributed to Maplewood Manor. The Board has also begun the process of selling the unused landfill. The revenue from this unused asset will also help reduce the stress on the County budget by adding a much needed revenue stream.

A4: Many counties are envious of Saratoga County. There is a song titled “My future is so bright I have to wear shades.” That is us right now. By bringing in Global Foundries, we have taken a big step toward a very bright economic future. The key now is to direct the future so we can maintain a strong quality of life. In ten years our county will look dramatically different that it did 10 years ago. We can embrace that change and leverage it to ensure an even better quality of life.

 

 

Peter R. Martin

A1: I foresee opportunities and risks that I am prepared to address. I worked over 20 years as an officer of one of the area’s most successful financial services firms. I used my education in economics, finance and law to achieve success there. Governor Cuomo appointed me county clerk where I have opportunity to participate in the operations of our county’s government. I have been able to efficiently enhance service to the public and I have observed lost opportunities for improving county service.

A2: Sustainable Economic Development: Start by fostering growth of our historic industries – tourism, horses and farming. Add the infrastructure to service clean manufacturing and professional development: jobs that will bring young families back to Saratoga; Our  Antiquated Infostructure — roads, water sewer and utility service- plan for future growth that doesn’t include traffic jams and pollution. We need imaginative mass transportation solutions; Our Environment: plan green space, parks and trails 

A3: The comptroller’s score: 63.8 percent, moderate stress, reflects inadequate general fund balance; for years, spending more than we took in- dipping into fund balances to pay for ongoing expenditures. Factors include losses at Maplewood Manor, money pumped into the county landfill before eventually selling it for a loss and poor revenue estimates. Sale of Maplewood and landfill should reduce the fiscal stress for 2014, but we need to investigate lost county revenue opportunities and improved budgeting.

A4: We must play to our strong suits while preparing infrastructure designed to cope with the growth. Foster tourism by protecting our green space and enhancing parks and trails. Welcome our new clean manufacturing base by preparing for the stress on our roads and utilities. Protect the history and character of Saratoga Springs. Have shovel ready projects available for transportation and infrastructure development. SEDC and a long term plan are not mutually exclusive; rejecting SEDC was a mistake.

 

 

Matthew E. Veitch

A1: I am running for Supervisor to continue to serve the public at the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors. With my professional life in technology, and what I have learned in government, I have seen issues with efficiencies in government, and led me to propose solutions to solve them. During my three terms as Supervisor I have continued to develop my skills in working with others, in order to get us what we need as a City at the County level.

A2: The three biggest issues facing Saratoga County now are the continuing fiscal issues with unfunded State Mandates and keeping our fiscal condition strong, the potential effects of full-scale Casino gambling on our community, and making sure we are planning for our future in Economic Development. All three of these issues have and will affect our County's bottom line, the tax rate, jobs, and quality of life and my job is to protect make sure the public's interest in these issues is represented.

A3: This problem is already being addressed and is something we are always looking at the County level. The steps taken to remove the tax burden of the County's nursing home, to continue to promote our strong retail sector to gain tax revenue, and by creating a long-term Econmic Development plan, we are doing what we can to correct any fiscal issues we are having. As a County that is among the lowest-taxed and fastest-growing in the State, I see our situation improving over the next few years.

A4: I see the County continuing to grow over the next ten years. I have always supported prudent and comprehensive economic development, and the County has undertaken an Economic Development strategic plan, that will guide our actions over the next decade. We have to continue to have balance in our growth and be supportive of efforts to preserve green space, to provide public amenities such as multi-use trails, and to make sure that we are preserving the County's quality of life for our residents.

Read 12029 times