Knox board member to leave for a new life abroad

Eric Kuck

KNOX — Although Councilman Eric Kuck’s name will be on the ballot on Nov. 8 — as a candidate for a  town board seat — he is urging his supporters to cast their votes for the man he hopes will be the Democratic candidate, Dan Hanley.  

Kuck will be moving to Holland to join his wife and daughter who are already there. His wife is Dutch and their daughter will study there. 

He has notified the town board of his intention to resign his seat before year’s end if the family’s home, which is up for sale, sells before then.

Kuck, who is enrolled as a Democrat, was appointed by the board in December after long-time member and Knox Democratic party chairman  Nicholas Viscio resigned with two years left in his term. Kuck’s one-year appointment required him to run for election this November to serve out the year still  remaining in Viscio’s unexpired term.

Kuck’s name will remain on the ballot on the Unify Knox party line, even though he has withdrawn from the race and has asked his supporters to get behind a man he hopes will be the Democratic candidate.

Unify Knox is a party of Kuck’s creation; he formed it earlier this year when contentiousness on  the town board convinced him, he says,  of the need for a third party, “a way to bring people  who were dissatisfied with both [major] parties.”  He gathered enough signatures on a petition to the Albany County Board of Elections to add Unify Knox to the town’s Nov. 8 ballot.

Kuch and his family moved to Knox from Delmar seven  years ago “seeking a rural lifestyle.”

A former Albany policeman, Kuch found that working at the town transfer station was a “great way to meet many of the wonderful people who live here.”

He serves on the town’s Conservation Advisory Council.

During his time on the town board, Kuck has been active in Knox’s recycling program and spearheaded a gathering in opposition to Kinder Morgan Northeast energy Direct pipeline project, which the company later withdrew.

Commenting on the sometimes tense “divide between Supervisor Vasilios Lefkaditis and the town board,” Kuck said he thinks the new supervisor “is experiencing some growing pains in the role and is still in a learning curve.”  Lekaditis has been supervisor since Jan. 1. He has often clashed with town board members and the town attorney while pressing  for change in government substance and style.

Kuck’s successor?

The man Kuck has endorsed for the seat he will soon vacate is Dan Hanley, a special education teacher at Shalmont High School and a father of four children. Hanley’s wife, Tami, is president of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Parent-Teacher Association.

Like Kuck, he and his family moved to Knox for the rural setting. “This is a good community,” he told The Enterprise. “If I get to serve on the town board, I hope to work to keep it that way.”

He says he is interested in alternative energy sources and is currently installing roof-mounted solar panels on a small building he has built for the purpose. A volunteer who helps when neighboring farmers “are in a bind,” Hanley says he loves the agricultural character of the town and hopes it will always be preserved.

The town’s Democratic caucus will meet Monday to name its candidate for the town board. Both Kuck and Hanley said they believe Ken Saddlemire will also be putting his name forward for the nomination. Saddlemire could not be reached before press time.

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