2017 Rensselaerville election: Steve Pfleging for supervisor

Steve Pfleging

RENSSELAERVILLE — “A small town is like a family,” says Steve Pfleging. A Democrat, he is unopposed in his run for supervisor.

It is Pfleging’s first run for political office and he’d like to keep the town on an “even keel,” he said. “I’m not a politician,” Pfleging said, “so running is new for me.”

He thinks the current supervisor, Valerie Lounsbury, a Republican, has set a good course; she is not seeking re-election.

When asked about being convicted of driving while intoxicated, Pfleging said, “I don’t have anything to hide.”

He went on, “I was going through a terrible time with my divorce. I was dumb and got a DWI. I haven’t had a drink since March 25, 2012.”

Pfleging, who is 41, said, “I have three wonderful kids.” He went on about his son and two daughters, “I didn’t want my kids to have a father who was a drunk … I went to ACCA because I was required to,” he said of the Addictions Care Center of Albany. “It taught me a lot.”

He said that counseling alone won’t fix an alcoholic’s problems. “It has to come from within,” said Pfleging. “I made a mistake and I take responsibility for it. I've learned a helluva lot.”

He is most happy, he said, to be an active part of his children’s lives. For example, he said, he coaches his 10-year-old son’s Little League team.

“I keep myself busy,” said Pfleging.

Pflegling has run his own construction company, a Test of Time, since 2000. He has lived in Medusa since 2012, been part of its fire company for 15 years, and is currently the fire company’s chief.

He has worked for the town as a clerk to both the planning board and the zoning board of appeals.

“I’d like to keep the town going the way it is. It’s a quaint little town,” he said, adding, “I would like to bring in some small businesses to help the taxpayers.”

He also said, “Shared services is a great idea. I’d like to see that come to fruition.”

Pfleging said he is pleased that the Albany County emergency communications tower has been built in Rensselaerville. A grassroots group from Rensselaerville had sued, and lost, arguing that the tower violated the town’s zoning,which designates scenic vistas and the tower should be located elsewhere.

He said the tower has been built and will be online soon.

Pfleging concluded of the goals he has set for his term, “My goal is to keep everything running smooth.”

On staying under the state-set levy limit, Pfleging said, “I don’t think anything is being sacrificed. It should be able to be sustained.”

He went on, “At the fire company, we’re able to run without raising taxes.”

Asked whether Rensselaerville should revalue all its properties, Pfleging said, “I will be honest with you. I don’t know.” He said he thought that “property values in town are about where they should be.” But, he went on, given that nearly 20 years has passed since the most recent revaluation, “It probably would not be a bad idea.”

On the local economy, Pfleging said, “We still have a lot of agriculture, but not nearly as much as we used to. I don’t know how to boost that without raising taxes.”

Pfleging went on, “We don’t have jobs like factory jobs. A lot of kids who leave for college don’t come back because there are no jobs for them here.”

He continued, “We have roughly 1,800 people in town. I’d like to expand that. You need to try to get businesses.”

On garbage disposal, Pfleging said, “As far as lawn clippings and anything organic, I don’t take lawn clippings or leaves to the dump.”

He said, “A lot of people still compost.”

As for where Rensselaerville’s refuse will go once the Rapp Road landfill is closed, Pfleging said, “I don’t know … It would come down to shared services, working together to find a solution.”

He concluded, “I’ve always been for neighbor helping neighbor … More heads will prevail.”

On affordable housing, Pfleging said, “In Medusa, we have two apartment houses that are relatively inexpensive, which are good for the younger generation starting out.”

He went on of Rensselaerville, “We’re not zoned for big-city-type apartments. A lot of our zoning is for five-acre single residency.”

On the opioid crisis, Pfleging said, “A lot has to do with education. We have to keep putting out there: ‘Don’t do drugs,’ ‘Stop DWI.’”

Pfleging continued, referring to Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, “The sheriff has enacted a lot of great programs.”

He named the Addictions Care Center of Albany, known as ACCA, a counseling program that Pfleging himself has used.

“It helps drug addicts and alcoholics at two or three locations in Albany,” he said.

Pfleging concluded, “Some people with a very bad addiction need help … I’d like to continue to try to get the word out. We could keep flyers at the town building and get people to call who need help, or we could call for them.”

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