2017 Rensselaerville election: Jason Rauf for council

Jason Rauf

RENSSELAERVILLE — Jason Rauf grew up in Medusa and has lived in Rensselaerville for his entire life.

At 30 now, he says he and his wife, Michelle, have decided to raise their first child, a daughter named Hannah, in the town they love.

A Republican, Rauf is making his first run for office on the GOP line.

Rauf, who has an associate’s degree in agronomy from the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, says he has a passion for agriculture. He met his wife working on a big dairy farm. They currently run a small farm with hay and livestock, he said.

Rauf was president of the Medusa Volunteer Fire Company for four years and served in the United States Coast Guard reserve for six years. He was stationed in New York City where he did security and search-and-rescue operations.

He works as a mechanic for the town of Coeymans, which he says has made him familiar with the operation of a town highway department.

“I’m very fiscally conservative,” said Rauf. He also described himself as “level-headed” and said he’d bring the voice of younger constituents to the board table.

His election brochure includes a quote from Ronald Reagan — “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help” — as well as one from James Madison: “Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.”

Of his goals if he is elected to serve on the board, Rauf said, “I want to be sure we have a financially sound future.”

He also said he would like to expand internet and cell service in town. “It’s important for our home values,” he said “and for people who work at home.”

On the budget, Rauf said, “I don’t believe there is any sacrifice” in staying under the state-set tax-levy limit.

Rauf said he would favor revaluation. “We are not in parts on levels in relation to other towns and that can cause a quick increase in taxes. We should all pay our fair share.” It’s not right for newcomers to pay more, he said.

On the local economy, Rauf said, “I have a strong background in agriculture. Unfortunately, the town of Rensselaerville does not have good soil … There are mostly hobby-type farms here, which is fantastic.”

He concluded, “To invest time and money in preserving agriculture is not necessary.”

On what to do with refuse after the Rapp Road landfill is closed, Rauf said he’d have to do further research to come up with a solution.

“It’s something we’ll have to face,” he said.

He went on, “I believe in small government. It should be handled at the local level.”

On affordable housing, Rauf said, “Being a young person in town myself, I know people struggle to pay high taxes.” He said that “keeping the budget in line” is important in keeping Rensselaerville affordable.

On the opioid crisis, Rauf said, “We should cooperate with the county to provide training in Narcan as long as it is at minimal cost or no cost to the town.”

He concluded that education on drugs would be best dealt with in the schools and not at the town level.

More Hilltowns News

  • The victim was 58-year-old Mahbeer Magasa, of Guyana, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said. 

  • New York State is currently involved in a lawsuit filed by telecommunications companies and organizations who argue that a state law mandating low-cost internet services for certain consumers hurts business interests and, by extension, hinders the expansion of rural broadband infrastructure. 

  • Andrew Gibson, of Westerlo, pleaded guilty to reckless homicide after killing Berne resident Lisa Sperry in a drunk driving accident, but he failed to show up to his sentencing in February this year, having been out on bail.

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