The endorsed candidates have a record to run on

To the Editor:

Well, it’s clear that there will be a Democratic primary for Guilderland Town Board nominations this June 22, a replacement process for the former practice of selecting candidates via in-person caucus. That being the case, it’s important for the town’s registered Democrats to know who’s running before they cast their ballots.

The local Democratic committee has endorsed incumbent Paul Pastore and newcomer Amanda Beedle for the positions. Incumbent Pat Slavick will be retiring from her board seat in December after 20 years of diligent service in that role.

Mr. Pastore has served on the town board since 2006, a period during which Guilderland has seen moderate and carefully planned growth, significant infrastructure improvements, improved town parks and open spaces, and prudent fiscal management that has provided residents with the lowest general town tax rate in Albany County.

Ms. Beedle has previously served as a town employee, and is currently a member of the planning board, where she has been a strong advocate of the careful review of development proposals, and the thorough consideration of public input with respect to such proposals.

Opposing the candidates endorsed by the committee will be Christine Napierski and Kevin McDonald. In a situation where candidates emerge to oppose the party choices, it’s worth asking who they are and why they are seeking to overturn the thinking of the local committee.

Christine Napierski is an attorney who was appointed by the town board to serve as a town justice several years ago. Her tenure was brief, as the Democratic committee chose a different candidate when Ms. Napierski sought a full term as a town justice. When rejected by the committee, Ms. Napierski first sought to overturn the process in court. Unsuccessful in that effort, she then chose to run for election as a Conservative. That effort was also unsuccessful.

This year, in addition to seeking the Democratic endorsement, Ms. Napierski is also seeking to run as the candidate of the Working Families Party. All other considerations aside, I find it difficult to reconcile how a candidate can run on the right-leaning Conservative line in one election cycle and on the left-leaning Working Families line in the next. Common sense would seem to suggest that a candidate with strong core values is one or another, but not both.

Kevin McDonald is a first-time candidate for elected office. He is also endorsed by the Working Families Party. Mr. McDonald's principal claim to fame would seem to be, according to his campaign website, that he is one of the plaintiffs in litigation that is currently in process that seeks to overturn town approval of two development projects in Westmere.

These projects were approved after a long and public planning process which Mr. McDonald does not appear to have been part of, despite the fact that public meetings took place around the corner from his residence. Other than his opposition to development, Mr. McDonald’s campaign website offers nothing but pious generalities on his positions on the numerous other topics that may well matter to local voters.

It’s over two months from now until the June 22 primary, but it isn’t too soon for local Democrats to consider who the candidates are and what they stand for. My initial thinking is that the endorsed candidates have a record to run on, and that the record has been good for Guilderland.

I’m less impressed by their opponents, who seem to have no defined basis for their effort other than opposition to certain types of development. I’ll be looking to see what else they may have to offer in the weeks ahead.

Donald Csaposs


Editor’s note: Donald Csaposs works as a grant writer for the town of Guilderland and is also the chief executive officer of Guilderland’s Industrial Development Agency.

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