In Guilderland: GOP's Oliver, Democrats' Cataldo and Bailey unopposed

Steve Oliver

GUILDERLAND — Three incumbents are running unopposed for re-election to town office this year.

Steve Oliver, the highway superintendent, and currently the only Republican to hold an elected position in the town, is running for his second four-year term.

Jean Cataldo, the town clerk, and formerly the receiver of taxes, is running for her second two-year term.

John Bailey, an attorney and one of three town justices, is running for his fourth four-year term.

Superintendent Oliver

Oliver, who started working in the highway department as a laborer, said that, over the last four years, he’s “learned a lot and met a lot of great people.”

“We’ve learned quickly to do a lot more with less,” he said.

As an example, he said the department had needed a new vacuum truck, which, new, would cost $320,000. Rather than purchase one, he searched for parts and rebuilt one of the department’s older trucks for a total cost of $52,000.

“Luckily we have a great mechanic who is able to rebuild trucks from the ground up and that’s been able to save the town hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Oliver.

Throughout his tenure, he said, the department had fixed habitual drainage problems and tried to do as much paving as possible.

“It is hard with limited funds and the rising cost of oil and labor for outside contractors,” he said.

Before he retires, Oliver said, he would like to see the town institute its own paving program.

“I have all the right people in place, I just need to find the grant money to buy the equipment so we can pave what we want, where we want, when we want,” he said.


Clerk Cataldo


Jean Cataldo, who made an unsuccessful run for town clerk in 1999, and was subsequently appointed as the receiver of taxes, a position she held for nearly 13 years, said she enjoys the customer-service part of her job the most.

“I’m running unopposed but I am still out there going door-to-door because it’s one of my favorite things,” she said. “It gives the opportunity for people to give me feedback; I love to hear positive feedback but I’d listen respectfully to anything negative.”

One of the best things she believes the town clerk’s office has done in the past two years is to start selling E-ZPASS.

“The town gets $4 for the $25 of sales and the person buying it still gets the full $25 credit,” said Cataldo. “It’s a win-win.”

She hopes, in the near future, to start offering residents the ability to pay for purchases at Town Hall with credit cards, rather than cash or checks only.

“I think it’s time to offer people another option,” she said.

Most of all, though, she said she wants to keep the good customer service a priority.

“We are aware that the residents pay our salaries,” she said. “We want to take care of them.”


Judge Bailey


Judge John Bailey said his past three terms have been “the most fulfilling 12 years” of his life.

Many people, he said, think traffic court is the only component of Guilderland Town Court, but, he said, though it is a big and important one, it is the criminal court is very busy.

The town has partnered with the Albany County Sheriff’s Department in a program called Alive at 25, which focuses on educating young people, through traffic court, about the dangers of speeding and of using a cell phone while driving, he said.

“A lot of young people are not fully appreciative of how dangerous these things are,” said Bailey.

But, he said, the heart of what the town court is doing deals with the criminal calendar.

In particular, said Bailey, the judges try to spot individuals who have substance abuse problems or who are at risk of having substance abuse problems.

“We have many people who come through the court, young and old, who are full-blown addicts,” he said.

The heroin epidemic is very real, he said.

“We are trying to get ahead of it, which isn’t a traditional role for a court to take,” said Bailey.

The court attempts to figure out how to get individuals, who are standing before them accused of a crime, into effective treatment in order to avoid recidivism, he said.

Judges are also trained to be sensitive to domestic abuse, especially because there are often repeat offenders, and attempt to get those offenders into a treatment program as well, said Bailey.

“I think I have a reputation of being fair and easygoing,” he concluded.

More Guilderland News

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.