Knox Election 2017: Brett Pulliam for town council

KNOX — Brett Pulliam, who is not enrolled in a party, is running for town council on the Democratic line. Pulliam, who has served on Knox’s planning board for about 12 years, is running in his first election for a town office.

At 58, he has lived in Knox for the past 30 years. He previously lived in the city of Albany, where he studied English at the University at Albany.

“I was looking to get out of the city environment,” he said, of his move to Knox.

He currently works as a carpenter, specializing in timber frames.

Pulliam had grown up in various towns in the Capital Region, as his father traveled for his work with the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, but he spent summers on Warners Lake.

“My great-grandmother was a Warner,” he said.

In 1994, Pulliam began serving on the youth council for several years, before being appointed to the planning board.

“I’ve always thought you should give to your community and volunteer,” he said, of his decision to serve with the two organizations. He feels it is a “natural progression” to move on to serve on the town board.

“I’m familiar with the workings of the town government,” said Pulliam, adding that he is used to reading, analyzing, and discussing town documents, and that he would like to bring his skills to the town board.

“We don’t always march in lockstep on the planning board,” said Pulliam. “But we are always able to talk about that in a civil way.”

Regarding the business district, Pulliam noted that the board had gone against the planning board’s decision and that of the conservation advisory council when choosing to vote on the proposed business district at routes 156 and 157.

“I was a little miffed that the town board was trying to propose the business district at 156,” he said.

Pulliam said the way to balance rural character with increasing businesses is to concentrate those businesses in one district. If there are many districts, he said, that can lead to sprawl, similar to something seen in a suburban area.

“I don’t think the planning board is anti-business. It’s just poor planning,” he said of the proposed districts.

Pulliam said it would be better to bring high-speed internet to the town to help with e-commerce, as well as address the rules for local home businesses. This would help introduce more home businesses and allow economic development while maintaining rural character, he said.

The planning board is currently trying to update the rules and regulations for home businesses, he said.

Regarding the capital project, Pulliam said that he would have to be working more closely with these facilities to understand their needs.

The goal, said Pulliam, should be to look at each project individually and address each of the issues posed.

“My approach would be to take a commonsense approach to each of those,” he said.

Funding sources such as sharing facilities should be considered as the opportunities to use those came up, he said.

Regarding tax revaluation, Pulliam said that he believed it is state-mandated to conduct a revaluation once the disparity between assessed and market values is at a certain point. However, the state has no enforcement mechanism.

“I think that would be the time to do it,” he said. “I don’t believe we’re at that point now.”

Pulliam said that he would like to keep taxes low, and that the town shouldn’t go above that tax cap.

“I think that everyone should live within their means, including the town government … ,” he said. “Only in an emergency should you go beyond your means.”

Pulliam remarked on the solid-waste issues in the town on two levels.

“Societally, we need to be more aware of our consumerism,” he said. “And our ‘throw it out when it’s used up instead of fixing it’ mentality.”

At a town level, Pulliam said that the town should look at methods such as encouraging composting and increasing awareness of what is being thrown out in order to reduce the waste stream.

Pulliam concluded that it is important for people to vote on Election Day.

“It’s a privilege that we have, and too many people waste that privilege,” he said.

 

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