I can work collaboratively to accomplish town goals

To the Editor:

As a candidate for the Berne Town Council, I would like to ask Berne voters to please consider voting for me. I would take the job seriously and consider issues objectively while pushing to continue moving things in a positive direction.

I believe Berne is currently headed in the right direction and would like to keep it that way. Our tax trends are good for the purse and at the same time, we have continuing improvement of infrastructure with little debt. I support the continuation of the careful, measured and conservative oversight of spending that put the town in the position it is in now.

I fully endorse all the  Democratic candidates.  I would like to see continued fiscal stability because there are some potential challenges ahead. We are faced with a projected increase in solid-waste disposal costs that could be significant and a state deficit is possible.

Over the years, I have worked as a volunteer with the town and done my best to represent the town and help the progress of projects that improved safety, infrastructure, and quality of life. Having worked with volunteers, town officials, the town board, and state and federal representatives on these projects, I appreciate and understand how much work it is to further town projects like the new library and the transfer station; projects I was deeply involved in as a volunteer.

I have experience with town projects and also highway and bridge contracts at my day job. This experience would help me as a councilperson. Town highway department costs and solid-waste costs are a large part of the budget.

I worked for decades as a project designer on highway and bridge rehabilitation and replacement projects and now review and comment on such design reports and plans. I have worked productively with engineers and architects specializing in many aspects of design, construction, and maintenance for more than 34 years.

I represented the town at the ANSWERS [Albany New York Solid Waste Energy Recovery System] solid waste consortium meetings as Berne’s recycling coordinator and put together the preliminary plan for the new transfer station and then worked with the engineers who put the final plans together.

I helped evaluate alternative sites for the new library over a number of years working with truly dedicated and hardworking library volunteers and employees. I worked with the building committee developing preliminary library plans for two sites that we evaluated and then we worked hard to convert the church to a library when that building became available.

We had to draw up plans, prepare grant applications, create a contract to hire an architect and then worked closely with the architects preparing the plans. I also served as a library trustee back then. So I can work with people collaboratively to accomplish town goals and I think that attribute is also important on the town council.

Joel Willsey

East Berne